I just read an article by Zach Epstein at the BGR website in which he claims that it’s possible for someone to remove their information from background check websites. He starts his article by writing, “Most background check sites are just awful. They scrape public records from across the country and compile data about everyone they possibly can. That data is often incomplete, outdated, and even inaccurate.” While I essentially agree with his assessment of the fast and cheap sites, doing a good background check is still possible on candidates for employment – even if their information has been removed from many background checking websites.
First of all, we get the candidate’s permission to do a background check and to check references. We have the candidate sign the appropriate FCRA required documents, and we start with a Social Security trace to identify all the places the candidate has lived and then proceed to do court checks in the county or counties in which the candidate has lived. Put in simple terms, we check the primary source, which is usually the county clerk’s office by using three identifiers – full name, date of birth, and Social Security number – that have been provided to us by the candidate for employment.
We also do a Criminal National Data Base search to see if the candidate’s name appears anywhere else. And even if the same name turns up, we double-check the other identifiers to make sure it’s really the candidate and not someone who just happens to have the same name and date of birth, which occasionally happens. It’s not possible, however, for somebody other then the candidate to have the same Social Security number!
So, even if people have all their information removed from other background checking sites, it’s still possible to do a thorough check on them when they become candidates for employment.