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How Background Checks Keep Criminals Away from Your Business

In today’s society, the importance of background checks can’t be underestimated. Background checks are the process of screening a person's criminal, financial and employment history to determine their reputation and credibility. The purpose of background checks is to protect an organization, government agency or individual from fraud, misrepresentation and danger. In this article, we will delve into why background checks are essential in today's society and how they can help prevent frauds and protect public safety.

Why are Background Checks Important?

Before we get into the importance of background checks in today's society, let's understand the reasons behind their increasing significance. With millions of people applying for jobs and services, background checks are becoming increasingly important. Employers, governments, organizations, and individuals need to check the backgrounds of potential employees, vendors, and contractors to make informed decisions. Here are a few reasons why background checks are crucial:

1. Identify Criminal History

Background checks can help identify someone's criminal history. A person with a criminal past is not suitable for all positions, particularly those that require high levels of trust, like a bank or security guard. Background checks can help employers and organizations avoid hiring people with criminal backgrounds and preventing a potential risk.

2. Ensure Workplace Safety

Background checks can ensure workplace safety by highlighting whether an individual has the necessary skills, character, and qualifications for a job. Employers can use background check information to assess potential risks and avoid workplace accidents and threats.

3. Protect the Organization

Background checks can protect the organization from financial or reputational damage. An individual with a history of embezzlement or fraud, for instance, should not be working in an organization's finance or accounting department. A quick background check can save the organization from potentially significant financial losses.

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4. Protect Public Safety

Background checks protect public safety. People with a criminal history, including assault, drug trafficking or sexual abuse, should not be allowed in sensitive positions like those in education or government. A background check can help prevent unsuitable individuals from taking up such positions.

5. Save organizations’ time and money

Background checks save organizations' time and money in the long run. By identifying candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements, employers can avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Organizations and individuals can conduct background checks without wasting time and financial resources.

How do Background Checks Help Prevent Fraud and Protect Public Safety?

Background checks can play a vital role in preventing fraud and protecting public safety. Let's look at how these investigations can benefit an organization, government agencies, and individuals:

1. Financial and Investment fraud

Background checks can help prevent financial and investment fraud by screening the credentials and backgrounds of financial advisors and brokers. People who have a criminal history in embezzlement, forgery or fraud are not suitable for financial roles. If they end up working in such a position, it could put the financial investments of an organization or individual at risk.

2. Cybercrime

Background checks can help prevent cybercrime by checking job candidates' IT skills, experience and criminal history. Organizations can ensure that an employee working in their IT department does not have a history of hacking, identity theft, or electronic fraud.

3. Identity theft

Background checks can help prevent identity theft from happening. Job applicants with a history of identity theft or those working in sensitive positions like in banks or healthcare must undergo a thorough background check before being employed.

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4. Drug related offenses and Crime

Background checks can help prevent drug-related offenses and crimes. People with a history of drug trafficking, drug abuse or possession should not be allowed in sensitive positions. Law enforcement and government agencies need to screen their employees' backgrounds thoroughly to prevent these crimes from happening.

5. Sexual Offenders

Background checks can help prevent individuals with a history of sexual offenses or predatory behavior from getting employment in schools, child care facilities, and other related organizations.

Real life examples of how background checks have prevented fraud and protected public safety

Background checks have helped prevent fraud and protect public safety in real-life situations. Consider the following examples:

1. The Oklahoma bombing

In 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the perpetrators of the Oklahoma bombing, were identified through background checks. The weapons and ammunition they used were traced back to them through a record of rental requests, resulting in their quick arrest and prosecution.

2. The Uber shooting

In 2017, an Uber driver who had a history of driving under the influence of alcohol killed six people in Kalamazoo, Michigan. If rigorous background checks had been in place, the driver in this case would not have been allowed to drive.

3. The Wells Fargo scandal

In 2016, Wells Fargo was found guilty of creating two million unauthorized bank accounts. Had the bank conducted thorough screening and background checks on its employees, including a review of their criminal histories and financial past, this scandal could have been avoided.


In today's society, background checks are crucial for preventing frauds and protecting public safety. They can identify an individual's criminal history and provide detailed records of their past employment and financial dealings. Conducting background checks can save organizations from financial and reputational damage while ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. Background checks give us the necessary information to make informed decisions. We must strive to make them a routine part of our employment and professional transaction processes.

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