Background checks are a powerful tool in a variety of different situations. Whether you are looking into a prospective employee, going through a divorce, investigating an insurance claim, or entering a new business, a criminal background investigation can give you critical information that will inform you of your best course of action. However, there are many myths about background checks that may be preventing you from using them to your greatest advantage. In this blog, we will go over some common misconceptions about background investigations.

MYTH: Basic commercial database searches provide you with enough information for a background check.

There are many commercial databases that are accessible to the public that can provide a good jumping off point to an investigation into information about convictions, liens, or bankruptcies. However, these databases are severely limited geographically, even when they claim to have a national scope. Some of them only show up to a certain time period, and may be missing huge chunks of a person’s history. When you hire McCabe Associates to conduct your background check, we have access to all of the critical information you need via databases that are not available to the public.

MYTH: You need a local private investigator for local court searches.

Actually, most background investigations can be conducted from anywhere, if your private investigator has sufficient experience and the right resources. Much of the necessary information is accessible online, and the right investigator knows how to contact the local court in a way to get all of the necessary information easily.

MYTH: You only need to look into the last seven years of someone’s background.

Many times, basic background checks will only look into the last seven years of someone’s criminal history. In reality, depending on your reason for needing a background investigation, diving deeper into someone’s history can reveal crucial information. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act limits reporting information that is more than seven years old, this is only in regards to employment or credit. If you are looking into someone’s background for a civil or criminal investigation, all information after age 18 is fair game. In order for the final report to be fully informative, it is essential that it includes all criminal activity in full with accurate date ranges.

MYTH: You cannot search for or view juvenile records.

It might seem like it is a waste of time to investigate minors or look for juvenile records because most of the time, they are sealed. Most states have rules against releasing juvenile criminal histories. However, if the crime was very serious, it is sometimes transferred to adult court, which releases the records to the public. Additionally, in some states, if the crime was violent or very serious, the police will release that information. Juvenile sex offenders who are older than age 14 and are convicted of sexual assault must register as a sex offender. More and more states are making juvenile records more available in order to ensure that you can get pertinent information about their violent criminal history.

For whatever reason you may need a background investigation conducted, our private investigators at McCabe Associates can help. Contact us for information about our background investigation services today.