Avoiding Scams with Criminal Background Checks

Posted on August 14 2013 by

An investor from New York City was recently approached by a businessman claiming to have "the next big thing" that would make everyone rich, if they would pony up a nominal sum of a few tens of thousands of dollars right now. "The early bird gets the worm," he told the investor. The businessman claimed that dozens of other investors had already put up their fortunes as initial investments. Being a professional investor, he was no stranger to this shell game. He almost blew off the businessman, but agreed to give his business plan just one small look. The investor was surprised: it was actually very well put together; quite a solid plan. While discussing the opportunity with a group of colleagues, one fellow investor suggested that he run a criminal background check on the businessman to find out if he has any suspicious activity on his criminal record.

The investor contacted a background check service. They ran an online background check on the businessman. Lo and behold, his criminal record was two pages long. Fraud, forgery, and grand larceny were just a few of the most serious charges. As it turns out, the businessman's business license had been revoked two years ago after a similar scam. Had the investor turned over the funds to this fraudster, they would have no doubt been lost forever. This is just one way that a criminal background check can spare a person the considerably unpleasant experience of being scammed out of their hard-earned dollars. You too can utilize the power of background check services in order to keep yourself safe in this dangerous high-tech world.

So how else can an online background check help the general public? Here are a few other common uses:

- Landlords employ criminal background checks to screen tenants. Naturally, it is not in their best interest to rent to people who have a turbulent financial history, rife with bankruptcies and unpaid debts. Renting an apartment to a person with those things on their record would be almost a guarantee of trouble down the road. Landlords also prefer to avoid those with extensive criminal records, as these people could pose a danger to the other tenants in the building.

- Employers find great use in criminal background checks for pre-employment screening. Being able to avoid hiring violent criminals is invaluable for workplace safety and employee morale. It also reduces the company's risk of a negligent hiring lawsuit. Such lawsuits can be extremely expensive, even if the company is not found liable. Having a record of a criminal background check on file will reduce the company's liability, as it can be conclusively proven that they did all they could to prevent violence-prone individuals from being hired.

- Individuals who use online dating sites also have a purpose for a background check service. Such websites have become a haven for scammers and criminals, unfortunately. Those who are agreeing to meet an online partner in person for the first time should take steps to make sure they are not being decieved. Since these scammers do not usually use their real names (or a real name at all) users should make sure that their "partner" actually exists.

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