In our modern world, where anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet, there has never been more reason to be cautious around identity. We all know how important it is to protect ourselves from identity theft but, the other side of that coin is the need to establish the truth of the identity of others. The purpose is still self-protection but verifying the information of another person or business is about far more than the simple defence of our own assets and savings. It can be as simple as protecting a business from a new employee, or as complex as protecting children from the new romantic partner of a parent. The means of this protection is the background check.
What is a background check?
A background check is a low-level investigation designed to establish the detail of a person’s identity, verify their own claims, and uncover any criminal or financial issues. Government agencies have long carried out such checks on individuals applying for certain types of salaried or voluntary roles but, in recent years, the shift to hiring a Private Investigator has grown alongside the rate at which people require background checks for more personal reasons.
There are several different kinds of background check, each suitable for a range of scenarios:
- Personal background – This is a broad-based kind of check that looks at the finer detail of an individual’s life. It can be useful for verifying a person’s marital status, address history, or employment record. It is useful for both romantic and business scenarios.
- Criminal record – This check looks specifically at whether an individual has a criminal record and, if so, what that record involves. It can be helpful for employers, those vetting applicants for volunteer roles, romantic partners, and even landlords.
- Licence check – There are many different types of licence that are verifiable and, when hiring a specialist to undertake a job, it can be advisable to run a licence check, to ensure that their credentials are up to date.
- Financial check – This type of check highlights issues with the finances of an individual, specifically revealing any debts, irregular spending, and details about credit history. It is useful for the vetting of loan applicants, as well as landlords and those in a new or existing romantic relationship.
- Driving record check – This type of check examines the driving history of an individual, revealing any driving bans, accumulated points, and convictions.
When is a background check advisable?
There are several different scenarios in which a background check may be advisable, in business and romance.
- An employer hiring a new employee
When a person applies for a job, they are usually asked to provide references. This is so that the potential employer can make enquiries about that individual and their past conduct. It is a vital part of the employment process precisely because it provides reassurance to the employer that the individual is being truthful in their application, and that they can be trusted to work for the business. This is not only important in commercial settings, but is also essential when hiring people to work with your family, or in your home – such as nannies, cleaners, or gardeners.
- A business merger is planned
If a merger is planned between businesses, then it is important for both parties to verify the suitability of the business in question, in order to protect the integrity of all commercial interests. This can involve a check into the business accounts and credit score, the current and past workforce, the pensions and benefits scheme, and the owners, directors and shareholders. The purpose of the check is to uncover any irregularities that may jeopardise the merger, ahead of time.
- A landlord finds a new tenant
In order to take a new tenant for a property, a landlord must be confident that the tenant will look after the residence and pay the rent on time. The landlord needs to feel as though the property is in good hands, and so a background check is highly advisable. This check can incorporate financial checks, a criminal record check, and a personal background check to establish if there have been any notable neighbour conflicts in the past.
- A person connects with someone online with romantic intentions
Online dating has become a ‘norm,’ with many couples successfully finding lasting happiness through the World Wide Web. There are unscrupulous individuals lurking on that information superhighway, though, and it can be difficult to know whether the person who has been regularly messaging you, or even organising in-person ‘dates’ is really who they claim to be. In addition to the very real danger of physical harm, connecting with ill-intentioned people on the internet can leave you vulnerable to fraud, identity theft, and even the “long con.” Running a comprehensive background check on any new connection is a prudent step in self-protection, therefore, ensuring that you can proceed with confidence, and safely in the knowledge that you have done your due diligence.
- A person in an existing relationship suspects irregular activity
It’s not just new internet connections that can pose a potential problem in terms of romance. A couple in an established, existing relationship may also benefit from a background check, if one or other of them suspects irregular activity. Checking into the recent financial behaviour of a partner or spouse can either confirm or dispel concerns about secretive actions, for example.
- An ex-partner introduces a new partner to the children you share with them
The introduction of a new romantic partner into the lives of your children – either on your part, or that of your ex, can be a very stressful time. You may have concerns about the new individual who will have access to your children and will be spending a great deal of time with them. You may have a new partner of your own, and be considering making the introduction to your children, but just need the reassurance that comes with having verified the information they have provided about themselves. These are perfectly legitimate reasons to run a background check on an individual because the safety and wellbeing of your children is always your highest priority.
Do I need a Private Investigator for my background check?
There are, of course, websites, government agencies and other organisations that will undertake a ‘background check’ on your behalf, but it is always advisable to engage the services of a reputable Private Investigator. Large, faceless companies often rely heavily – if not entirely – on automated database searches in order to provide you with a background report on the individual in question. While this can appear to be sufficient, there is little to prevent vital information and detail being missed. Depending on the circumstances in which your need for a background check has arisen, this could be disastrous.
By contrast, a Private Investigator provides a bespoke, personal service, and all the advantages that come with it. This means the Investigator can provide an initial consultation in which they help to determine what type of checks will be most suitable to deliver the information you need – so you can be sure that the background check is targeted in the most efficient, productive way, getting you the best possible value for money. It means that years of training and experience will be brought to bear on your background check, because most Private Investigators draw their personnel from military, law enforcement, and corporate backgrounds. Finally, it means that your information will be dealt with sensitively, with your privacy protected, and the utmost discretion applied. This is because professional Private Investigators adhere to an industry-wide code of conduct – something that can be verified through professional accreditations and affiliations, such as the Association of British Investigators and the Information Commissioner’s Office.
When you find yourself in a scenario that calls for a background check, it is those conducted by professional Private Investigators that provide real peace of mind, in both business and romance. Reputable and reliable firms, such as OpSec Solutions, use cutting edge technology and the most up-to-date, effective techniques to compile a comprehensive and detailed report on the subject of your background check. Moreover, the investigation is undertaken in full alignment with legal and ethical guidelines set forth by the Association of British Investigators, the Institute of Professional Investigators, and the Professional Investigators Network. Discreet customer service and the protection of privacy are prioritised throughout the process, and a truly personalised experience is delivered.
Whenever a background check is warranted, it is because suspicions exist around the intentions or history of an individual who has the potential to play an important role in your life or business. When the situation is framed in this way, it becomes clear that this is not a process that should be left incomplete or dealt with in an unprofessional manner. On the contrary, it is a process that should be handled by experienced professionals – and that is why you should call OpSec Solutions today, to discuss your need for a background check.