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International Investigators – What is a Real Background Check

Posted On   date16/09/2015

International Investigators – What is a Real Background Check

At some point, most individuals and companies will need a professional background check investigation. We have learned from our global clients the situations in which a real background check is useful, or even critical. From a new romantic relationship, to hiring a nanny, hiring overseas, expanding a franchise, to an international merger, there are countless situations when you need to make an important decision, and that decision needs to be based on clear evidence.

The truth is that in today´s world being cautious about the people we get involved with on a personal or a professional level is extremely important, and professional background check will always help us make better decisions.  In international cases, it’s essential do deal with a reputable international investigation firm with investigators on the ground where you need them.  Searching the internet or checking so-called databases alone is reckless and negligent in developing countries.  If you need real evidence, you’re going to need real investigators, especially in international cases.

There are many companies and websites out there trying to sell misleading “background check” services.  These are companies that have not a single trained investigator on their staff.  They claim to offer international background checks, yet they have no investigators?  If you need a company or person verified in a foreign country, you had better be sure you’re dealing with someone who has a team on the ground in that country, who speaks the language, has access to local records, and has a proven track record in professional investigation, so that he or she can gather evidence you need.

Expect to pay realistic prices for a professional service.  Regardless of what you might hear on the internet, there is no investigation in this world that’s going to cost less than $100.  Professional background checks to lower your risk usually cost in the $400 to $500 range, depending on your need for evidence.  Expert due diligence services can cost much more than that.

Be skeptical of any website trying to sell you something for $49.99, for example.  You’ll quickly find out you get what you pay for.  Your money will be lost, and you’ll still need answers.

These companies take advantage of particular situations that make people vulnerable (like being victim of a dating scam) and of people´s misconceptions about what a background check investigation is.  We have seen startups born from one day to another, offering background checks without having the experience and professionalism it takes to handle such investigations.

Professional international investigators say if you’re only paying a small fee for a so-called investigation or “background check”, you should ask yourself how much of an investigation (if any) could actually be conducted for such a price, and what type of skills would such an investigator have.

A real background check is conducted by professionals, not a database search

Let´s start by saying that a search in a database is not an investigation. We are aware that companies and individuals all around the world are now looking for fast results, and many have resorted to paying a company for access to a database in order to obtain the evidence they need. But this is not a real background check by any means. Databases can be outdated, inaccurate or simply may be too short on information.  In most developing countries, records are not even in a database!  The only true way to get a real background check is by having a professional on the ground to work on the case, and investigate every piece of information directly at the sources.  Professional private investigators will take the time and effort needed to confirm that the information provided by the subject is real, whether it is a CV or resume, a document or form of identification, and all the known case data.

A real background check is much more than checking criminal records.

First of all, not every criminal has a record. There are thousands of people who have never been caught, therefore having a clear record is not an indication (by itself) that a person is good or bad. Besides this, getting criminal records on people from developing countries is no easy task because there are no centralized criminal records databases. Second, a background check should be a thorough investigation, which includes many different pieces before you can see the big picture. For a long time, people have mistakenly taken a criminal records search for a background check investigation.  Although this information is important, it is one a small piece of the puzzle in an actual investigation.   Scammers are getting trickier and uncovering real evidence takes much more than checking a database.

When screening a person or company, make sure that the investigation includes all possible verifications, including identity check, birth records, education and employment claims, immigration information if applicable, passport verification, references and reputation, and other relevant information.  Remember the more you can provide to an investigator to work your case, the more the investigator will be able to verify and investigate and help you lower your risk.

Real background check investigations require the effort and expertise of a professional. Compare services and prices for background checks and make sure you’re getting the real deal!

C. Wright

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