Internet Background Check- Part III How to Conduct Background Check

Background check reveals many facts that allow companies to practice due diligence and empowers individuals to make better choices about people in their life.

There are essentially three different ways one can check the background of a company or individual. Depending upon situation, one or more of these options may be used in combination for best result

Do it Yourself

Toughest of all - you must know sources of public information, possess enough search skill and have the patience. Your search result is further limited by accessibility of public information. Works best for US companies or individuals as that country probably has the best public record storage and access system. Often, this is the first course of action, failing which you may turn to other options listed below

Turnaround time : Few hours
Cost: Free (excluding your time and ISP charge for Internet access)

Delegate the search

You may decide to delegate the task to an agency who does background check for a fee. This is very useful for countries like India where very few public records are available in Internet. Background check here means doing lot of legwork in physically visiting the organizations, collecting information from Registrar of Companies or similar organization , counter-checking claims etc.

There are many agencies who have specialized in background checking and charge a lot less than established names like Dun and Bradstreet

Turnaround Time: 7-10 days (can be shrunk to 2-3 days by paying extra)
Cost: USD 50 - 80 per report

Use Special Software

There are special purpose software that can check public records on your behalf. If you are doing background check quite often - consider buying one of these. However, this option works best for US records. Besides, quality of search result may not be to your satisfaction all the time.

With such a software, you can search FBI files, get credit report information, obtain criminal records on anyone, find a cell phone numbers owner and their address, find unlisted phone numbers, check out a prospective employee (or your boss), investigate a suspicious person or neighbor, search driver license, marriage & divorce records etc.

Turnaround Time: Less than hour
Cost: USD 50 - 300 (one time cost for software)

We shall discuss details of each of these sections as also various Internet sources in future issues.

Happy Surfing

Dr. Amit K Chatterjee

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Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 4, Issue 07 Jun 24' 2003

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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