Background check check-up

If you’re applying for a job — or trying to keep one — a background check may be in your future. So check out the FTC’s newly revised Background Checks brochure for answers to common questions:

Are employers allowed to do background checks? Yes, but there are limits. For example, potential employers can’t ask about medical information until after you get the job. And they can’t treat you differently because of race, national origin, color, gender, religion, disability or age (if you’re 40 or older).

Can I refuse to let an employer do a background check? Yes, you can. But if you do, then the employer may reject your application.

How do I know if an employer is doing a background check on me? Before conducting a background check, an employer must tell you in writing and get your written permission. The employer can’t hide the notice in the middle of a long document.

Is there anything I should do before an employer does a background check? Before the employer does a background check, get a free copy of your credit report at Then you can correct any mistakes in your credit report before the employer sees them.

What if an employer doesn’t give me a job because of something in my background check?  Employers have legal obligations if they make a decision against you based on information in your background check report. 

  • Before the decision, the employer must give you a copy of the report and a Summary of Rights that tells you how to contact the company that provided the report. That way, you can make corrections and give the revised version back to the employer.
  • After the decision, the employer must tell you that it rejected you because of information in the report. It must again give you contact information for the company that provided the report and tell you that you can dispute the accuracy of it.   

If you think an employer may have broken the law, Background Checks explains where to go for help. The FTC has more information on background checks for consumers and for businesses.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


Once again very good information

I believe corporate America should be held accountable to same level that an individual is held, especially when it comes managing a persons debt, investments, and insurance. Our culture has changed in the Information Age, and with any record - criminal or civil court actions where a person looses a home, or has a misdeameanor - corporate behavior is not hire that person. And quite often even though we have strict policys for compliance here - the employers simply good all of privacy, bank and credit information overseas. In essence - we live in "irons" globally no matter the infraction is.

What? I don't know what you just said. Can you please say it clearer? Thanks, I don't mean to be an irritation. I just don't get what you just said because I think you hurried through and didn't edit what you meant to say, especially everything after the part "corporate behavior."

Are employers permitted to ask for the year you graduated high school? Isn't that a method to ask for your age. I have also noticed many online applications ask if you are or ever were disabled. Should these privacy issues be reported?

Is an employer allowed to hire you then send you to the job then the next day fire you because of being honest. ????

I Agree!!

I got a letter from Moestro Security inc. saying they had been trying to notify meof my winnings. I was the prize winner of their quarterly $100,00 award.Long story short they were going to send me a check, but in the smaller amount of $4850. to cover taxes. Then the check for $95,150 would be delivered by Fed-Ex.When I got the cashiers check I was supposed to deposit in my bank and call a Mr. John Moses, when I did he said that Fed-ex would be delivering the check on Monday at 4:30 and I should be there. Then at the last minute he informed me that I needed to send two ladies each a Money Gram amount of $1400 and then call him with the numbers. This was to pay my taxes, Mind you he wanted me to send the money to England. Well I didn't cash the check and everyone says it is a fake. I sure hope it was.

What happened to you sounds a lot like a prize scam. The FTC's Prize scams article says if you have to send money or deposit a check someone sends you before you get the "prize" it's probably a scam.  If the "prize company" asks for your credit card number or bank account information, or ask you to send money, you're going to lose money, not win it. If you go along with the scammers one time, they will keep calling and asking you to send money. Don't deposit a check from someone you don't know, and don't wire money to someone you don't know.

So much fraud going on today

A lot of fraud going on - making it so difficult just to get through the day. I am a lawyer and I even came upon the "background check" situation. Once I realized it, I tried to call to cancel it and somehow reached a company in the United Kingdom with a similar trade name. She apparently has been getting many telephone calls like this and was somewhat in distressed, but she was keeping a "stiff upper lip" and didn't complain even though apparently she was even having trouble sleeping at night. I told her that hopefully this situation would end soon as that our federal government is working hard to stop these types of situations.

I have been on the do not call registry and I still get too many telemarketing calls. The worst one is the credit call services they call 2 to 3 times a day everyday. My husband is a Korean Veteran with heart disease, my day is always busy with 3 different sets of Doctors I cannot afford to miss a call so I answer. What is being done to help caregivers in my situation.

Unfortunately, scammers don't play by the rules and don't honor the Do Not Call registry.
If you use caller ID on your phone, it might help you spot some calls that you don't want to answer. Some people use an answering machine and listen to the message to hear who's calling before they pick up the phone, or let the caller leave a message and decide if they want to call back.

I recently was called in by an interested prospective employer to begin their elaborate hiring process. They are very thorough and use a 3rd party background check service. I signed papers all morning and then was sent to a third party lab for drug testing. Afterwards I was supposed to wait for them to receive all their results back. When they called, two days later, they surprised me by saying they were withdrawing their job offer. When I asked why they said, "We do not divulge that information." I thought they might have decided on a different candidate and asked if I could reapply at a later date, but they informed me that I would be ineligible for future hire. Again, they refused to tell me why. I'm left to wonder, what happened? They liked me. I didn't have anything to hide that I knew of. Incidentally, I do have an enemy in one of my old places of hire and he might have sabotaged me, but what are the chances that their third party got me confused with another person with my same name who also happens to work in my industrial field? That actually happened a while back to me and caused me to lose out on another job offer, but it turned out to be a simple error by the person who was reading the report, and I didn't expect to have the same issue again. What do you think? Another question I have is, how extensive are these third party background checkers? Can they see my entire online history? Do they hack into some secret database of dark knowledge? Do they talk to all of my past employers? Do they check any of the references I listed on my resume and application? Okay, I guess that was more than one more question.

Before another employer does a background check on you, get a free copy of your credit report at Then you can correct any mistakes in your credit report. This is important if you think someone else's personal information has gotten mixed up with yours.
As this blog post explains, an employer has a legal obligations if it makes a decision against you based on information in your background check report. 
Before the decision, the employer must give you a copy of the background report and a Summary of Rights that tells you how to contact the company that provided the report. That way, you can make corrections and give the revised version back to the employer.

What ever you fell for that scam?

What if a company asks if you have been convicted of any crime in past 7 years. They go through a 3rd party to do background check. Then deny employment for a misdemeanor over the 7 years by quite a bit?

The FTC booklet about Background Checks has more information.
Before an employer uses a third party to check your background, it has to tell you it might make a decision about your employment based on the information in the background check, and ask for your written permission.
If the employer thinks they might not hire, keep, or promote you because of something in the report, they must give you a copy of the report and a “Summary of Rights” that tells you how to contact the company that provided the report.
If an employer got a background check on you without your permission, report it to the FTC at
There are rules about what an employer must do if it doesn't hire or promote you because of something in your criminal history. The FTC Background Checks booklet tells more about that.

I recently received a letter from a background check company telling me an employer I no longer work for conducted a back ground check. Can they do this if I no longer work there?

Before an employer gets an employment background report, the employer must tell you that they might use the information to make a decision related to your employment, and must ask for your written permission.
During the application process, employers may ask for your written permission to obtain background checks on you throughout your employment. 
If an employer gets a background report on you without your permission, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  For more information, please read Background Checks.

I have the same name as someone else and all of our background and credit is merged. How does one go about getting this straightened out?

You have rights to dispute errors on your credit reports.  This FTC article about disputing errors includes sample dispute letters you can send to the credit reporting company.
Find out how to get your free credit reports.

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