Global Background Checks & Private Investigators

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Doing International Due Diligence for Your Business

Posted On   date07/03/2014

Doing International Due Diligence for Your Business

Most business owners have a lot invested in their companies, and not just financially. A lot rides on the reputation of a business too. When you start doing business with other businesses that are out of your control, it can be a scary prospect. And unless you are standing behind every employee, looking over his or her shoulder as work is completed, there is no guarantee that the work will be done up to your standards and that your business mission will be followed. Business owners put a lot of trust in their employees and business partners. The risk for fraud rises when a business crosses over the U.S. border.

Of course, sometimes the domestic economy isn’t doing so well.  Or the cost of labor in your home country is simply too high, and you need to cut manufacturing or payroll expenses.  In some cases, it may just be that the best people to do business with in your particular venture or industry reside overseas.  For big companies and small, looking internationally for opportunities is now a common practice.  Finding opportunities is not always so difficult.  Verifying which opportunities are legitimate with acceptable risk, however,  can be very difficult, especially if you’re dealing with an individual or company in a high fraud risk country.

You’re probably aware of simple background checks and social media checks here in the U.S. when it comes to hiring and partnering. But most businesses are not sure where to start when it comes to international due diligence. What needs to be done to avoid companies you should not deal with?   What if you’re hiring an employee outside the country?  Or, you’ve found a new supplier or investor in another country?   The truth is, it normally takes the skills and resources of a trained private investigator to verify.

Since people outside the U.S. do not use Social Security numbers, international background checks are more complicated. There are agencies that can handle it though, and Wymoo International, for example, has field investigators on the ground in the cities and countries where you need them.  We speak the language, know the culture, have access to local records, and serve as your eyes and ears on the ground.  After all, searching the internet to try to verify a company or person in China or India is not going to cut it.  You’re going to need someone local who has the training and contacts to get the job done right.

No matter what the person or business appears to be over the phone or online, there is much that he or she can be hiding, using the distance as an advantage to conduct fraud or scam.  From a professional looking website, smooth talking sales people, or even a personal meeting in an office in London or Hong Kong, criminals use complex tactics to steal your money and company secrets.

If at all possible, visit the partner business or prospective employee in-person on their turf. Walk the halls of the business you are considering working with and talk to employees (perhaps through a translator). Get an idea of what is really going on there and ensure that the business is really operating and doing all it says it is doing. When it comes to hiring individuals overseas, meet at a neutral spot and come prepared with questions – particularly if there are any questionable spots on the background check. Not only will you be able to see the truth for yourself, you may learn a little bit about the culture of the country you visit which will help you better understand the partner business or employee.  Be skeptical!

If you use an international global background check service, you have even more protection when it comes to keeping an eye on your international business partners and employees.  Investigators say more companies are using professional background checks and due diligence as a form of insurance, and it’s far less costly than the damage done when hiring or investing in a fraud.  If you can’t afford to hire a professional, be sure to research and verify to the best of your ability, ask for references, never make payment or provide too much sensitive data upfront, watch our for red flags, and meet in person before signing.

Protect your overseas investments by asking lots of questions and doing your homework.  Get professional help to ensure the people you want to partner with are genuine, not con-artists.

C. Wright
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