the perils of cheap background checks


       This morning’s TVC Alert warns both investigating firms and consumers of the dangers in doing superficial, low-cost criminal records checks. (“Caveat Emptor: Cheap Background Checks,” March 20, 2007)  The TVC Alert blurb points to a recent posting at legal investigator Mike Coffey’s Imperative Information weblog, “The Danger of Selling Cheap Backkground Checks” (March 14, 2007).

sleuth  Coffey cites a lawsuit discussed in a recent The Fort Worth Star Telegram article, concerning the alleged rapist of a 77-year old Alzheimers’ patient, who had been hired after a private criminal records search failed to uncover that he is a registered sex offender (plaintiff’s original petition).  Coffey asks: “Can the screening firm be held legally liable for giving the customer what they asked for, however inadequate it might be?”  And he answers: “Prior cases suggest that the outcome may depend on the efforts undertaken by the screening firm to educate the client on the risks associated with undue reliance on the database report.”  Coffey offers additonal thoughts on the topic.

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Cole

    May 2, 2007 @ 12:51 pm


    One very important thing to know is that it is often the customer who wants the cheap background check, and is well aware about the chance of buying the cheaper check. You can tell them till your blue in the face, the customer will ALWAYS go for the cheaper search. What else can you do?

Log in