Thursday, September 2, 2010

What You Should Know Before You Buy

International background checks are the latest among the many scams offered by so-called background check websites. While there are certainly some reputable investigation companies to choose from, the vast majority of websites offering background checks fall between worthless and deceptive, and fraud.

We should define what a real background check investigation is. A true background check is precisely that, a prudent investigation conducted by professional investigators designed to minimize risk from the unknown; i.e. it is a verification and investigation process that can include many factors. Searching criminal records is only one element of a background check investigation, and criminal records cannot be checked online for most international cases. International cases require actual field investigators.

If a company is offering an "international background check" for less than $200 USD, it would be wise to save your money, because true professional background checks and private investigations don't exist for $19.99. For consumers serious about verifying a company, an individual or potential employee, or spouse, it's important to know that real background checks are investigations which cover many factors, including but limited to, education and employment history, criminal and civil records, ID and passport verification, neighbor and informant testimony (character check), travel records, and the list goes on. It is essentially imposible to conduct an international background check if there is no office or field investigator, or agents in the country where you need the evidence. If the company fails this test, keep shopping!

Remember to ask where the company offices and investigators are located. If they are based in New York and nowhere else, or London and nowhere else, you know the company may be able to conduct a professional investigation in that city, state and region, but not elsewhere. To conduct an international background check, an international private investigator, or a company with an office or investigators where you need them is required. Ask or check the company website to make sure the investigators exist, and they are where you need them. Searching databases is not an option for most international cases, especially in the developing countries. Be very skeptical of such claims.

Wymoo® International, Kroll and Owens Online are just a few companies with established reputations and international operations worth mentioning. Wymoo® is based in the U.S. and maintains professional field investigators in over 100 countries, and they offer confidential services for both organizations and individuals. For any of these professional services, expect to pay a realistic price. Professional investigation can be expensive, but not having a foreign person or a foreign company verified can be even more costly, so think of the service as a due diligence or insurance policy, to be sure you know who you are dealing with.

Background checks international and domestic require some careful shopping. Doing some research is advised.

Best of luck,

A. Hathaway
© 2010 A. Hathaway
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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, A. Hathaway, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as noted.