The accuracy of background checks has come under greater scrutiny after several reported cases of falsified investigations. The Federal Times reports the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – which oversees background investigations for the government – is investigating a growing list of cases involving the alleged falsifying of security clearance background checks while a “consistent backlog” of similar cases awaits investigation due to a lack of resources. The complete story is available at http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20130707/ACQUISITION03/307070009/Backlog-bogus-background-checks-grows. Continue reading
A former contractor who was hired to perform background checks on U.S. government workers filed a 2006 report with results of his investigation in which he claimed to have interviewed a person who had been dead for more than ten years, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. The full story is available at http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-08/dead-interviewed-as-investigators-falsify-u-dot-s-dot-background-checks. Continue reading
A bipartisan group of Senators has introduced legislation – the Security Clearance Oversight and Reform Enhancement (SCORE) Act – to increase oversight as to how the United States government conducts background investigations and awards security clearances. The SCORE Act would also hold government employees and contractors more accountable for falsifying background investigations. A copy of the SCORE Act is available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/152980145/Tester-s-bipartisan-SCORE-Act. Continue reading
In a story demonstrating the importance of accreditation standards for private background screening firms, the Federal Times reports that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – which oversees background investigations for the government – is investigating a growing list of cases involving the alleged falsifying of security clearance background checks while a “consistent backlog” of similar cases awaits investigation. The complete story is available on the Federal Times website at http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20130707/ACQUISITION03/307070009/Backlog-bogus-background-checks-grows. Continue reading
An Omaha, Nebraska man convicted on three federal wire fraud charges in a fake background check fraud scheme was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $126,715 in restitution, according to The Scottsbluff Star-Herald. The story, which shows why firms should look for a background screening accreditation seal, is available at: ‘Omaha man gets four years for background check fraud’. Continue reading
A story from the Providence (RI) Journal website Projo.com about a Rhode Island man reportedly faking a background check to conceal his criminal record so he could get hired as assistant coach of a girls’ High School volleyball team shows the lengths some jobseekers may go to conceal their criminal pasts during the hiring process. After attending practices without pay before the alleged fake background check was uncovered, the 53-year-old Cranston, RI man was arrested on charges of providing false documents to a public official. Continue reading
To help some frustrated jobseekers succeed in the current job market, one company is offering false job references – complete with job titles, start dates and end dates, and salary – to people seeking employment who are willing to pay a fee plus a monthly subscription. This service that offers phony references from real “Reference Providers” and work histories from “Virtual Companies” is why background checks of job applicants, particularly past employment verifications, have become so vitally important for employers today. Continue reading
By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News
In yet another case of falsified or outright phony background checks, a business owner in Ohio was ordered to repay nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for forging criminal background checks for employees of her home health-care business.
According to a blog post on Cleveland.com, the online home of The Plain Dealer, the owner of Beta Services Inc. received a four-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to repay $744,800 because she made it appear her employees – many with criminal records that disqualified them for jobs in home health care – had clean records.
The report indicates the owner pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception and six counts of forgery and the company also entered a guilty plea to one count of theft by deception. “By forging background checks, this defendant deliberately put vulnerable Medicaid recipients in harm’s way by employing people with criminal records in caretaker positions,” according to the Ohio Attorney General quoted in the story.
Instances of falsified or outright fake background check investigations for employment purposes are on the rise, as indicated by these reports on ESR News recently:
The recent surge in scams involving background checks underscores the need for employers to make sure that they are dealing with legitimate screening firms when outsourcing background checks. At a bare minimum, the background check firm should belong to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). In addition, NAPBS has announced a Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) that will also help employers locate professional and legitimate suppliers of background checks starting later this year.
For more information on how to attain “real” background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.