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Danny Boice | Why Basic Background Checks Are Problematic

With the advent of technology, it’s become much easier for malicious people to misrepresent themselves. On paper or on their online profile, they may seem like such a good candidate for your organization or a part-time babysitter for your kids, but a deeper background check may reveal otherwise. Danny Boice has seen this happen far too many times than he can count at Trustify, a platform he co-founded that makes private investigation services accessible to those who need it.

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A licensed private investigator himself, Danny Boice laments that the private investigation industry is in part misunderstood because of these run-of-the-mill background checks that over-promise but under-deliver. He enlists some of the problems of such basic background checks below:

1. They only check on a surface-level – As mentioned, people can now easily make themselves look good whether on paper, online, or even in person. This brings to mind the saying that if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Unfortunately, many background checks only probe on a surface-level, says Danny Boice. For instance, the background check may only confirm that the person’s name is what they claim it is, including their age, educational background, work history, and the like. The problem with this is, it doesn’t say much about the person’s past or future behaviors and tendencies. This is why a deeper background check is often necessary.

2. It assumes criminal records databases are complete – Another problem Danny Boice sees with the way background checks are being conducted right now is that it assumes criminal records databases are complete. Unfortunately, this is a very risky assumption that can cost organizations. As someone who’s worked extensively in the industry, Danny Boice knows what he’s talking about when he says that there is no such thing as a national database of criminal records in the United States. This means that private investigators must comb through databases on a county-level to get the information they need. But before they can even get to that, they also must identify which counties to search for, which is a time-consuming and critical task.

3. The risk of false positives – There’s another risk to the assumption that criminal records databases are reliable, says Danny Boice. These can result into false positives which can throw the entire investigation off track. But that’s not the worst of it, as it may also lead to potential lawsuits. This is why more than one approach should be taken to confirm the information gathered. False positives however can be spotted and reduced with a comprehensive background check. This is because such background checks also consider the possible networks, relationships, and affinities of the person being investigated for further insight.

To sum up these points, organizations or people needing private investigation services only end up wasting their time and resources with a run-of-the-mill background check that yields them basic information. When safety and reputation is on the line, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.