In a recent background check for a large manufacturing company, a background screening firm found that based upon the identification information provided by the applicant, the results of their search might have reported “No Record Found”. Were it not for a Quality Assurance phase of its investigation, the discrepancies would have gone un-noticed. What was discovered was that the applicant had transposed the last two digits of her Social Security Number (SSN) and provided the employer with a false date of birth (DOB) when she applied for employment.
The key to the research that uncovered the attempted deception was another element of the background screening process, the motor vehicle record (MVR). The MVR revealed the discrepancy in the date of birth. When a second criminal search was ordered with the revised DOB, a record returned with the exact violations appearing on the MVR along with eight (8) other criminal convictions including a felony for forgery. In addition, the court records included the applicant’s SSN which revealed that the applicant had transposed the last two digits of the number. Using other research tools, it was confirmed that the SSN used by the applicant did not match the applicant’s name.
What human resource and security professionals can learn from the above case is that criminals are learning that the primary identifier in court record searches is date of birth, and that they can conceal their past by providing a false DOB. For this reason, and for independent confirmation of all identification information provided by the applicant, other searches, including MVR and Social Security Searches should be included in any comprehensive background check.
The deliberate actions to deceive the employer outlined in this article, illustrate one method of identification deception. Others, such as minor name alterations, hyphenated names, nick names, alias identities, false SSNs and deliberate errors in the date of birth provided, all complicate the identification process when procuring criminal background checks. Using all of the tools available to make sure the information provided by the applicant is correct is the only defense against deliberate identification discrepancies.