Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Brief Comparison of Background Checks

International investigations and background checks are increasing in demand as businesses, organizations, corporations and even individuals are impacted by globalization. Whether or not globalization is a positive for the world and the existing cultures is up for debate. The need to verify individuals and organizations across foreign borders, however, is not.

Organizations and individuals increasingly require the service of a background check firm for due diligence and for peace of mind. A firm in Europe seeking an employment candidate in Malaysia wants to be prudent in its hiring decision. Management wants to confirm his identity and professional experience. In addition, the company likely wants to check for any criminal background, and other red flags. Individuals around the world are increasingly dating and establishing new relationship via the Internet. A background check to confirm a lover's identity overseas is not only important, but an essential path to preventing fraud.

So, what options are available if you want to confirm your business partner's identity in Colombia? How can you verify a website and small business located in Russia as a legitimate concern? How can you be sure about sponsoring your Russian fiancee for a visa? And how can the small business in London conduct due dilignece when forming a partnership with a firm in Mexico City? The examples are endless. The answers on where to find assistance, however, are suprisingly limited. We list a few below for our top choices for professional investigations.

From an international perspective, investigating outside of one's home country, we recommend three major firms who provide reliable, professional background checks and customer service.

Wymoo International, Owens Online and Kroll are at the top of our list. Depending on the services required, one of the three may be the best option. We suggest contacting each to learn about the services offered, and to determine which firm offers the best services and pricing for your specific situation. Wymoo offers a highly personalized client service and wide range of investigation in over 100 countries. Their signature market is in confirming international relationships, an area where they clearly lead the competition. Owens offers an impressive list of 250 countries, while Kroll may be suitable for more business clients.

Depending on the individual case, an international background check or investigation may cost between $200 and $800 USD. Pricing is usually based on what information the client requires, and in which country. Given the amount of fraud, scam and misrepresentation in the global marketplace, the background check is a key insurance policy against loss, whether emotional or financial, or both. Do your due diligence and verify relationships abroad. The alternative may be more expensive!

Best of luck,

A. Hathaway

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