Background checks are an integral part of modern society, and they are essential in helping prevent fraud and protecting public safety. In recent years, these checks have become increasingly important because of the number of frauds, scams, and criminal activities that have occurred. The purpose of this article is to discuss why background checks are important in today's society and how they help prevent fraud and protect public safety.
Why are background checks necessary?
Background checks are necessary in today's society because they help verify an individual's identity and background, including their criminal history, education, and employment history. Employers, landlords, financial institutions, and government agencies rely on background checks to ensure that the people they are dealing with are who they say they are and that their backgrounds are free of any criminal histories or fraudulent activities.
Background checks are especially crucial when it comes to hiring employees. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management, 95% of employers conduct some form of background check when hiring new employees. This is because employees are a company's biggest asset, and employers want to ensure that they are hiring reliable, trustworthy, and honest individuals. A background check can reveal information about a person's criminal history, credit history, and employment history, which can help an employer make an informed decision about whether or not to hire that individual.
The benefits of background checks:
Background checks offer several benefits, including preventing fraud and protecting public safety. Here are some ways in which background checks help prevent fraud and protect public safety:
Preventing Identity Theft:
Background checks can help prevent identity theft by verifying an individual's identity and ensuring that they are who they say they are. Identity theft is a serious problem that can lead to significant financial losses, and background checks can help prevent this by ensuring that the person applying for a loan, credit card, or job is not using someone else's identity.
Reducing Workplace Theft:
Background checks can help reduce workplace theft by identifying individuals with a history of stealing. According to a survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, businesses lose an estimated 5% of their revenue to occupational fraud. By conducting background checks, employers can identify potential employees who have a history of stealing and avoid hiring them.
Ensuring Public Safety:
Background checks can help ensure public safety by identifying individuals with a criminal history, including violent crimes, sex offenses, and drug offenses. This is especially important for individuals who work in sensitive positions, such as healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and teachers. By conducting background checks, employers can be confident that they are hiring individuals who have a clean record and are unlikely to pose a threat to public safety.
Examples of background check success stories:
Background checks have been instrumental in preventing fraud and protecting public safety in several high-profile cases. Here are some examples:
Preventing Sexual Assault:
In 2018, a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting over 150 young girls and women. One reason Nassar was able to abuse so many people for so long was that he was able to gain their trust through his position as a doctor. However, an investigation after the fact revealed that Nassar's employers had failed to conduct a thorough background check, which would have revealed his history of sexual misconduct. Had they done so, hundreds of girls and women may have been spared from the trauma of sexual assault.
Preventing Financial Fraud:
In 2011, Bernard Madoff was convicted of operating the largest financial fraud in U.S. history, totaling over $64 billion. Madoff had been able to operate his Ponzi scheme for so long because he had gained the trust of his clients, who believed he was a trustworthy and successful investor. However, a more thorough background check could have revealed that Madoff had a history of securities fraud and had been investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If his clients had been aware of this, they may have been able to identify the fraud earlier and minimize their losses.
Background checks are essential in today's society because they help prevent fraud and protect public safety. Employers, landlords, financial institutions, and government agencies rely on background checks to ensure that the people they are dealing with are who they say they are and that their backgrounds are free of any criminal histories or fraudulent activities. By conducting background checks, we can ensure that we are hiring trustworthy and honest individuals, preventing identity theft, reducing workplace theft, and ensuring public safety. As with any tool, background checks are not perfect, but their benefits far outweigh their shortcomings.