How to Avoid Being Duped When Verifying Background Information

Candidates who want to circumvent your screening process to hide a history of violence may resort to providing a “prepared cover” which allows them to conceal parts of their background that they do not want you to learn about. Oftentimes, this will involve creating fictitious addresses, places of employment, and work related references.

One way to avoid falling victim to a “prepared cover” is to properly verify addresses and telephone numbers provided by candidates. If, for example, a candidate lists his prior employer as Rosewood Logistics, located at 100 Valley Way, Los Angeles, do not simply accept this as a bonafide company or address. Rosewood Logistics may have been created by the candidate for the sole purpose of serving as past employment. The address provided could be a rented mailbox and the telephone number could be forwarded to a friend who is waiting for the opportunity to give the candidate a favorable reference.

To avoid being manipulated, check a directory to see if the company is listed, and if so, what their address and telephone number is. It may also be worthwhile to access a Dun and Bradstreet report to see if they are registered. If the telephone number or address is different, contact the company via the phone number and address you found, not with the information provided by the candidate.

Another red flag is a company that the candidate claims has relocated or gone out of business. While this may be true, it is an effective way to conceal an individual’s real history by providing a dead-end reference. Most companies simply accept this as fact instead of researching the company to see if, in fact, it did exist and whether the move or bankruptcy occurred when the candidate claimed that it took place.