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The Truth About Background Checks

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As a parent, one of the most critical decisions you can make while raising your kids is who will provide childcare when parents are unable to be at home.

The fact is, these days, most parents turn to the internet to find a caregiver for their kids since many websites offer to match parents with potential babysitters. One of the more popular websites for finding childcare is called Care.com.

A few years ago, Grace and Grover Heintz, of Massachusetts used Care.com to find a woman to watch their child while they worked. The couple paid for a “preferred plus” background check, according to their lawyer.

As stated by Care.com’s website, the $79 background check is more comprehensive than two other checks that it offers and includes a search of criminal records in the states the caregiver has resided over the last seven years.

After completing a background check during the hiring process, the Heintz’s decided to hire Stephanie Lee Fox to care for their child.

However, things quickly went south for the couple when they discovered that Fox had stolen more than $280,000 from their checking account, which Fox ended up pleading guilty to in federal court.

To make matter worse, the couple found out that the so-called background check that was conducted by Care.com failed to catch many of Fox’s previous crimes.

According to multiple media outlets, Fox has been the subject of at least 28 criminal cases including 111 charges that involved thefts all over Massachusetts.

In fact, at least a dozen of those charges were filed in Quincy District Court in Norfolk County, which should have been included in Care.com’s background check.

In total, Fox was convicted of numerous charges including larceny, identity fraud, forgery, and receiving stolen property.

Most of us have probably had an interaction with someone we would like to conduct a background check on whether it’s a potential employee or even a romantic partner.

The problem is, a lot of folks are duped into paying for background checks that cost $9.99 or even $69.99. You and I both know, you get what you pay for and a true background check costs much more. (Depending on what you want, $400-$500.)

This is why I want to share with you some tips for conducting a more complete background check compared to these $9.99 specials that are a complete rip off.

Avoid a database. When conducting a background check, you will see many websites that claim to have a complete “database” of criminal records.

The problem is, these online database websites are highly inaccurate and seldom have all the information on a person. In other words, for $9.99 they can’t truly invest in getting all of the criminal records out there.

Verify Verify Verify. Let’s say you are hiring a potential employee. You need to verify every bit of information that you can.

For instance, you should call every single reference they list, as well as former employers. In addition, you should definitely verify their education and work experience, as these are common areas where people will lie on their job application.

Clearly, this is going to be time consuming, but it is often overlooked and not verified.

People on the ground. If you are hiring someone to work for your company in Utah, however they previously lived in Massachusetts, then you need to find someone local in Massachusetts that can do the leg work where needed.

Many states and counties still don’t have criminal records online for you to search so you would need someone local who can physically go to the courthouse and do the criminal records search in the locations where the person previously lived.

Yes, this is a lot of work and it depends on what you need to know about the person. If you’re doing a billion-dollar business deal, it’s clearly worth it to invest the time and money.

Know the law. If you are doing a background check on a potential employee, you should have an attorney involved to advise you on the do’s and don’t’s of these types of background checks.

Hire a professional. If you need the most complete background check possible than the best option is to hire a professional who does this on a regular basis. In fact, my company does background checks regularly for companies who are hiring CEO type level employees.

The truth is, this type of background check is incredibly thorough, but isn’t cheap, since it involves a lot of private investigator legwork. If you want to hire my company to help you out with this, just reply to this email or shoot me an email.

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