What Information Does a Background Check Show?
What is a Background Check
Background Checks are an important part of various processes in our day and age. Both businesses and individuals use background checks in order to verify that a person is who they claim to be. It also allows them to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities that happened in the past to confirm who they say they are. If you are applying for a new job, looking to rent an apartment or get a security clearance you may have to be subject to a background check.
While background checks are most commonly used regarding employment, they are not only for businesses and landlords, the Freedom of Information Act now allows access to public records to anyone, so if you have a new neighbor, girlfriend, boyfriend or coworker that you suspect may be lying or dangerous, you can run a background check yourself.
That being said there are some laws regarding how you can use a background check. For example, it is illegal to run an employment background check based on an applicant’s or employee’s race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information, or age.
There is a number of different sorts of background checks that are used by different agencies, businesses for various purposes. Fingerprint background checks are usually used by government institutions. Universal background checks are used when someone is attempting to purchase a firearm. A credit background check can be used when someone wants to buy a house, car or take out a loan. The Office of the Inspector General has a background search that includes the names of anyone who has committed a crime with mental illness. The type of background check this article will cover is a personal background check.
How do Online Background Checks Work?
Background check services aggregate public data and make it searchable for users of the service. The public data includes public records such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, criminal records. These records are collected from federal, state and local sources. The law that allows for this information to be public is the Freedom of Information Act, which requires most government offices to release records to whoever requests it. For an individual not using a background check service, this would mean to visit the office where the record is located and submitting a request and paying a processing fee. Online background checks remove the hassle and make these records available from your computer or mobile phone.
What does a Background Check Show?
An online background check usually consists of the following information:
Criminal records are used to keep track of a person’s criminal history. These records usually include information such as the last known address age and any charges and convictions against the person you have searched for. The record may also include details about the arrest including mug shots, criminal charges, identifying marks, known aliases, race, height, weight and more.
Arrest records are most commonly used by employers or landlords who wish to know if their employees/tenants are trustworthy. A study in 2015 found that nearly one-third of the adult working-age population has a criminal record in the United States, however many organizations are attempting to make it easier for rehabilitated criminals to expunge their records. If a criminal record is expunged, it will no longer show up on a background check.
The contact information that online background searches provide vary based on what databases the background search utilizes. Some background check services use magazine subscriptions and other non-official records to find addresses, phone numbers, and emails. In any case, most background searches will be able to provide you with the mailing address and ground line phone number of the person you are looking for. Other checks will also provide you with an email address and even a mobile phone number. Finding contact information is a very useful tool if you are looking to get in touch with an old colleague, classmate, flame or long lost family.
Vital Records Information
Vital record is a general term that includes four different types of records. The first is a birth certificate which includes the place, date and time of birth. The second and third are marriage and death certificates which include the date and place of the marriage as well as to whom the person married and in the case of divorce, the date and place as well. While an original death certificate includes the date, time, place, and cause of death, in some states the cause of death is only available to family members.
Marriage and Divorce records are particularly important to find when doing a background check on a potential new partner. It is not uncommon to start dating someone who travels a lot, and after searching, to find that that person has another family in another state. Running a simple background check will give you this valuable information before it is too late.
Some background checks include an education report, which shows the full educational background of the person you are running a background check on. This is an especially useful report if you are an employer or potential employer and are trying to verify if everything written on the potential employee’s resume is accurate. A large number of people lie or heavily exaggerate on their resume/CV and get away with it, but it can be a very embarrassing reflection on your company if it turns out someone lied about their qualifications.
Online Activity/ Social Media Information
Some background searches include a deep web search that shows the social media accounts of the person you are running a background check on. Discovering the online activity of a neighbor, potential partner, or even an employer can be very helpful in ascertaining the true behavior of this person online. While this information is not included in public records, this is usually accessible on the deep web, however, if the accounts are in a private setting this can deter the collection of data.
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