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Background checks deal in facts not fancy

by Josef Kafka

There are many different reasons why you may want to know more about someone new in your life. Although we live in a digital age where we have less face to face contact with people than ever before, we are ‘meeting’ more people than we have ever done. In every area of our lives, be it working or personal, we exchange information with people we seem to know but who in many ways remain complete strangers. 

Is this a problem? Not necessarily, if all you are doing is engaging in some harmless chat, or discussing a work-related issue. When more is at stake, however, if you’re considering taking a personal of professional relationship to a new level, for instance, then you want to be sure of who’re you’re dealing with or trusting.

Why do I need a private investigator to check someone out?

Most of the time, you don’t need a private investigator to carry out background checks. If you’ve met someone through a mutual friend or client, chances are you already know a bit about them, or have a third party source of reference that you trust. Plus, you still have your basic instincts, your gut feeling, that has stood you in good stead before. You may do more socialising on social media these days than anywhere else, but you can still trust your own hunches when it comes to meeting people in the flesh.

You only need to consider hiring the services of a private investigator when the stakes are particularly high; in other words, when you stand to lose a lot, be it in terms of your emotional happiness, in a financial sense, when employing someone to look after your children or elderly loved one, or some other scenario where making the right choice is vital.

Hiring a private investigator sounds serious 

That’s because hiring a private investigator is a serious business; it’s not something you do lightly. Before you do hire a professional to carry out background checks, you need to be sure you’re willing to accept the truth. In a lot of cases, this isn’t a problem because if you’re thinking of hiring a nanny or childminder, or live-in carer for a relative, then you really do want to know that you’re taking on someone you can trust.  The same is true if you’re thinking of going into business with someone you don’t really know that well. 

When it comes to matters of the heart, however, we sometimes shy away from the truth; we want to believe the person is who we think he or she is. We like what we hear and we want the romantic dream this person seems to represent. On the other hand, we don’t want to get hurt.  Background checks are all about finding out the truth, in separating the facts from the fantasy, so just be sure you’re ready to face up to reality – good or bad.

What does a background check involve?

The kind of checks that are carried out depends on your particular circumstances, and what you want to know about the person.  An experienced private investigator will be able to make some suggestions, in case you’re not sure. The checks can involve verifying the person’s identity, checking their marital status, the number of dependents they have ( if any), their employment record – in short, the kind of stuff they’ve told you but you want to be sure is the truth. You may also want to know about their present or past business activities, and any criminal records. You can request surveillance, handwriting analysis, photographic evidence; you can even get the person to take a polygraph test, if they’re willing. In other words, a professional can help to find out however much you want to know.

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