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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default How to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    I'm a senior accountant in my late 50s and have been unemployed for about 2 years now. Every job interview I've had has gone well and I've always passed whatever accounting test I've been told to take but I've never received a call back despite how well everything went and I always wondered why. Just recently, I learned that the background check company that provides the firms I interviewed with my background info was supplying the wrong record--in fact, it turns out that all this time, the background check company was sending the firms a background of a Mexican felon who lives in Texas that has a 10-page criminal record (drug offenses, stolen cars, DUI, etc.)--the worst offense I've ever had in my life was probably a speeding ticket. I don't know how but the guy has the same SSN and birthday as me (which is probably why his record came up whenever I gave my SSN to the firm I interviewed at) but his name is clearly not the same as mine and I can't believe they didn't look to cross-reference names at least before sending it to the firm and costing me a potential job.

    Clearly, all of this time I could have been offered a job that I've always been told was contingent on passing a background check when in reality the background check company was sending the wrong information. Is it at all possible for me to sue the background check company for damages or potential lost wages? I've been unemployed (and still am) and I haven't been able to land anything because of this mix-up for two years!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    What happened when you reported the identity theft to the authorities?
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  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    Did the company supply records with any altered names? Or, did they provide the records as they came up?

    The company pulls records, they supply them to the clients. The clients then make their own determination. Unless you can somehow show some intentional malfeasance on the part of the background company, I don't see that you have a claim for damages.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    All the firms you interviewed with in a two year period use exactly the same firm for background check? That doesn't sound likely to me. There are dozens of firms out there.

    I suspect your problem may be bigger than you think. I'd check deeper into the records and make sure that there isn't a mistake somewhere that multiple firms are picking up, because while theoretically possible, the chances that every single firm you've applied with uses exactly the same background check firm and that ONLY that firm has the error are, to be blunt, not very high.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Georgia
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    149

    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    I'd have to agree with 'cbg' here. It's not very likely that all the companies used the same firm to conduct the background checks. Just reaching out a bit, if the companies were all members of the same association (i.e. Accounting Association of Upper Bulgaria), then the Association might run the checks for their members using the same firm. It's a stretch, but possible.

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (under the Federal Trade Commission) governs how background checks are done, and what must be done when an "adverse action" occurs. It also requires "due diligence" from the companies and their contractors who conduct the checks.

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/cons...dit/cre36.shtm

    The above link should give you information about what you'd need to do in order to correct any errors. Scroll half-way down.

    If there were different background checking firms involved and the same erroneous information was provided to different employers, then it's more likely the problem is not with the background check firms, but rather something much deeper, as another poster suggested.

    I can't say for sure if you could file a tort action, but the you can file a complaint with the FTC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Second star to the right...
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    312

    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    First, if OP never heard back from these firms after the initial interviews, and never got adverse action letters from the companies informing him that he was denied employment, in part, due to information pulled on a consumer report, it is probable that no check was ever run on OP. His issues may be completely unrelated to the background in terms of obtaining employment. The larger issue here however, is that someone has assumed his identify.

    Since two people are never assigned the same social security it appears OP may be victim of identify theft and this person is committing crimes that are now being in part attributed to OP since the criminal has assumed OP's social and DOB. The issue at hand isn't that the background companies are doing anything wrong (they only report what the states/counties/cities & municipalities have on file and apparently this is what is on file) but rather that someone is committing crimes and then providing authorities and others with OP's DOB and social.

    OP, if you are sure that someone else has your social security number in play, you need to report it to the authorities pronto. In addition to the rather lengthy criminal record your alter ego has racked up, you may also have a HUGE IRS issue if this person is are being paid under your SS#. You might owe taxes... I am surprised that hasn't come up yet as well...

    Research how to report identity theft and start the ball rolling to reclaim yourself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Is It Possible to Sue a Background Check Company for Supplying False Information

    The FTC link I provided has another link that will help you in pursuing a possible identity theft claim.

    It seems all posters are fairly convinced that it's not the background check, per se, but what information is coming up that might not even be related to you, but attached to you.

    That's probably where the problem is.

    I'm just curious, though. Did the OP ever get an "adverse action" letter with the name/addr/ph of the background check firm ?

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