Shocking! A routine background check can reveal identity theft
- June 08, 2006
- by PInow Staff
If you've ever applied for a job, volunteered, or applied for credit, chances are excellent that a routine background check has been run on you.
Despite the fact that most people have some form of background check run on them, very few people have an accurate idea of what a background check reveals about them. This is especially frightening since identity theft is on the rise. Many people only realize after they've been turned down for job or credit that their identity has been stolen and has been used by a criminal to steal or to perpetuate crime.
What can you do?
If you haven't already considered running a full background check on yourself, its something you may want to think about. For a modest fee, you can hire a private investigator to run the standard type of pre-employment check, credit check, driving check, criminal check, and general background check that employers, landlords, and others can run on you. This can help you determine whether there are any errors in your records that need to be fixed and can help you find out whether someone has used your identity to perpetuate crime. Correcting mistakes and addressing identity theft before someone else runs a background check and finds false information about you just makes sense. Why lose a great opportunity because of someone else's crime?
How to avoid identity theft
Many people assume that identity theft only has to do with your credit report. Therefore, they only check their free credit reports once a year and assume that all is well as long as no one has been obviously stealing from them. This is very misleading. After all, your driving record, criminal record, as well as your credit record can be affected by identity theft as well. Therefore, one of the first ways of avoiding identity theft is to be alert for all the different types of background checks that employers can run on you. Generally, you should run a full background check on yourself at least once a year to determine any errors or problems.
You can also help avoid identity theft by keeping an eye on your identity papers and identifying information. Do not give your credit card numbers, driver license information, and other personal information over the phone or through the Internet unless there's a reason to do so and only if someone trustworthy is asking for the information. Any mail that arrives with personal information about you should be destroyed before being discarded. Too many people simply throw out junk mail that has filled out forms that criminals can use.
If a routine background check does show that you have been the victim of identity theft, a private investigator can help you determine who is responsible. Moreover, a professional investigator can provide evidence to police authorities, credit bureaus, driving bureaus, and other departments to prove that you're innocent. Be sure to fill out a police report and report the crime if you are the victim of identity theft. If possible, try to close down as many accounts affected as possible. For example, you need able to close down affected credit cards and bank accounts to prevent criminals from stealing more of your money. Some law enforcement agencies will also allow you to attach commentaries to your criminal, credit, and other types of records to state your side of the story.
If you would like to consult with a private investigator that specializes in background checks or identity theft, you may visit the PInow.com Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators.
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