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Advice from a Private Investigator: Never Skip that Background Check!

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Do you often wonder whether or not you should hire a private investigator to run a background check? If so, you’re not alone! A background check request is something a private investigator gets all the time, and for many reasons including,

  • Wanting to make sure the person the client is dating doesn’t have a criminal record.
  • When an employer wants to confirm that a new employee has earned a specific degree.

For some people, a background check might seem like an odd request. What you might not know is that a background check a critical part in helping people make really important decisions. For example, let’s say you want to marry your boyfriend or girlfriend. What’s the problem? Well, you’ve only dated him or her for six months.

  • How do you know he or she is honest about everything?
  • How do you know he or she doesn’t have a history of harassment or abuse?
  • What if she or she hasn’t carried a job in three years and expects you to lend them money?

When a PI runs a background check on an individual, they can find out for sure. Their research will certainly give you peace of mind.  

So . . . Why is a Background Check Important?

The problem is, many people just don’t think background checks are important. In some cases, a proper background check isn’t even run.

As private investigators, we often see the results of what can happen when a background check isn’t conducted. Not conducting an employee criminal background checks can lead to disaster. In worse case scenarios, a company might hire a professional thief. In other cases, it’s not unheard of for a company to hire a killer. While these examples might seem extreme, why take the risk?

To help paint a better picture as to why a background check is so important, here are two recent examples. These examples highlight what can go wrong when a background check isn’t completed, or completed incorrectly.

Example 1: The Serial Killer Nurse

Between 2007 and 2016, nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer took advantage of her position as a nurse at a long-term care home in Woodstock, Ontario Canada. Between 2007 and 2016, she murdered and attempted to murder, a total of 14 senior citizens.

After her confession, her case went to court. On August 3, 2018, the courts revealed that Wettlaufer never had a background check completed during her interview process with the long-term care home. The long-term care home did not conduct a background check because they assumed that the agency recommending Wettlaufer had completed one prior to sending her to the interview.

If the long-term care facility or the agency had done their due diligence, a background check would have revealed information about Wettlaufer. This information likely would have prevented her from gaining employment. That being said, the courts are still trying to determine the reasons why Wettlaufer managed to get away with her crimes for 10 years, without getting caught.

Example 2: Date Gone Wrong

Dating apps in the 21st century can make meeting someone much easier. On the other hand, it can make meeting someone who isn’t out to scam you a whole lot easier too.

A man in California faces a total of 10 felony charges for dating, dining and then dashing. Paul Guadalupe Gonzales tricked at least 8 women into paying for his dinner. Charming and well mannered, Gonzales would pick a high-end LA restaurant, eat an expensive meal and then tell his date he needed to make a call. Of course, he never returned to the restaurant. The woman he left behind was forced to pay the expensive bill.

It’s unfortunate that none of these women thought to hire a private investigator to run a background check before they attended the date. Many of the women simply contacted the police, however it wasn’t until recently that they were able to catch him.

When a private investigator runs a background check on an individual, it reveals any and all red flags about that person. If that person has a history of violence, changes jobs every two weeks, or even a criminal record, the private investigator will uncover the information. In most situations, an individual really does just want to meet up for dinner. However, why would you leave it up to fate?

Good news is, Gonzales will likely face charges, which will appear on his record Moving forward, he won’t have the chance to dupe anyone again!

Criminal Record & Possibility for a Pardon

Criminal records often carry weight for years. Depending on the crime, an individual with a criminal record may never find employment, or earn the right to visit another country. The good news is many people with a criminal record can receive a pardon.

An individual is granted a pardon under certain conditions. Some of these conditions include whether or not the person engaged in criminal activity since their conviction. Other conditions include the severity of the crime or type of crime. To receive a pardon, the individual must apply through the correct government channels. As an application for a pardon can get quite complicated, in Canada it is possible to work with an agency to expedite the process. These companies will know immediately if a pardon is possible or not.

Once a pardon is granted, a background check will no longer reveal the individual’s criminal record. This is a huge benefit to individuals who wish to reenter the workforce. That being said, some criminal records will not allow an individual to work within particular industries. However, receiving a pardon is a wonderful way for an individual with a criminal record to earn a fresh start.

Background Checks and Private Investigators

Hiring a private investigator to complete a background check is always a good idea. A private investigator is a licensed individual with the right skills to get the job done fast. A private investigator is trained in knowing exactly what to look for in a background check. They can identify red flags and ensure that at the end of the day, the people you do business with—or even dinner—aren’t trying to run a scam.

What this means is that you can have information about a potential hire before they sign a contract (for example). A private investigator can run background checks during your company’s hiring process. While many Human Resource (HR) representatives might think that they can complete a simple Google search, asking for a little outside help never hurts. Hiring a private investigator also means that you can have information about your date, or significant other before things get too serious.

If you don’t hire a private investigator to complete a background check, you do run the risk of taking on whatever baggage the person brings with him or her. In most cases, the people you want to hire or date aren’t con artists. However, a background check really reduces the chances of having to deal with the aftermath of a bad hire or even broken heart.

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