Background Check Information Allegedly Stolen at Fingerprint Center for Identity Theft

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

According to a report by KXXV-TV ABC News Channel 25 in central Texas, four women in the Waco, TX area were arrested on accusations they stole background check information from fingerprint applications. The women were indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft. Some of the women were also charged with aggravated identity theft. If convicted, they face up to 15 years in federal prison.

KXXV-TV reports that one of the women worked at a fingerprint center in Waco from March 2008 to July 2008 and allegedly stole thousands of background check applications that contained personal information such as social security numbers and birth dates when she left the company. The four women then allegedly used the stolen background check information to commit identity theft by obtaining credit cards, opening accounts, and purchasing items.

The story serves as a reminder of why the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of consumers used in background checks must be protected from not only outside intrusions such as hackers and ‘phishers’ but also from potential internal threats like employee theft.

To help protect the personal information of consumers used in background checks and ensure data privacy and security, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) created the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) to be a widely recognized “seal” of approval representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, and high professional standards. The NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the application process and ensures that background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed a measurable standard of competence.

To become NAPBS accredited, a background screening organization must pass a rigorous onsite audit of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas of the BSAAP: Consumer Protection; Legal Compliance; Client Education; Product Standards; Service Standards; and General Business Practices. The BSAAP includes individual standards for the protection of consumer information such as:

  • Written Information Security Policy (WISP)
  • Clean Desk Policy
  • Anti-Browsing Policy
  • Document Destruction
  • Intrusion, Detection & Response
  • Stored Data Security
  • Password Protocol
  • Electronic Access Control
  • Consumer Information Privacy Policy
  • Consumer Credentialing
  • Employee Certification
  • Worker Training
  • Visitor & Physical Security

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks – has successfully proved compliance with the stringent standards of the BSAAP and is now formally recognized as BSCC Accredited. To learn more about accreditation, read the press release ‘Background Screening Credentialing Council Recognizes Accredited Companies’ at:

For more information on background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more, visit or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or