Ever done a criminal/credit check on a independent contractor???

14 replies
Hey everyone,

I am in the process of choosing a virtual assistant that will potentially have access to my paypal and other merchant accounts to issue refunds etc and handle customer support.

Since they are potentially dealing directly with my business $ I think it's important to do a thorough background check and credit check...

Anyone here recommend a good online site for checking these things?

Do I need written permission from the contractor?
Or just get their social sec #?

Thanks!

David
#check #contractor #criminal or credit #independent
  • Profile picture of the author jame58rown
    Hi David

    Its a sad fact that very often "Levels of Honesty are directly connected to Levels of Opportunity. Some people, who might be otherwise honest, end up stealing. Especially when they see an opportunity to steal with a low likelihood of getting caught. Anyone can steal from you if they have your Paypal details, but if they know that you will find out first thing in the morning this will keep most people honest.

    Every thief in the world would have passed a background check at sometime in their life. So even you if you get the checks done, never give anyone the opportunity. Set up procedures so that if things are amiss, you will know about them. Remember that the vast majority of people are very honest, but accept that some might steal given the right opportunity.
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  • Profile picture of the author tj
    Why not go that route that your VA give's you the recommendation of issuing a refund if needed but you will be the one who has the last word and "press the button." Limiting the access to your monetary funds leaves the control in your hands.

    Timo
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  • Profile picture of the author cwrinco
    I was using a company that was really good. I had a construction business and we had to verify status, SSN's, etc. and also a light criminal check. (I think it's called a 'blotter' check...police blotter)
    I can't give you the url because the forum won't let me (I don't have 15 posts yet)
    One thing I'm grateful for...one of the applicants turned out to be an escaped con with a heavy record of violence. I also found about 10 bogus SSN's ... mostly illegals.
    I think for Paypal accounts or anything involving money I'd be really careful and yes, by all means, do criminal and background checks.
    The appllicant shouldn't mind and if he does I'd get nervous about him/her.
    By the way, there are about a million rip off artists selling these services...it took me a long time to find the right guys. If I could figure out how to do it I'd give you this company.
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  • Profile picture of the author cwrinco
    Sorry, forgot to mention that if your VA is in India or somewhere outside the USA, my company wouldn't work...they only do USA stuff.
    I don't know about checking foreigners.
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    • Profile picture of the author Emailrevealer
      I do background checks and pre employment screening for a living. PM me and I'll customize something for you.
      You do want to get a release from him so we can run a credit report as well as criminal, wants and warrants, liens, judgments, bankruptcies.

      If you're going to deny someone employment based on a background check you have to be FCRA compliant or you can get in some hot water.
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      • Profile picture of the author Maria Gudelis
        Definitely take this offer up from your fellow warrior! You have too much to lose - I've had one of my companies go down and reputation hurt because I didn't do a good enough background check on an employee who thank goodness after a year now following my criminal complain, he is being prosecuted by Florida State Attorney full on with a criminal jury trial!


        Originally Posted by Emailrevealer View Post

        I do background checks and pre employment screening for a living. PM me and I'll customize something for you.
        You do want to get a release from him so we can run a credit report as well as criminal, wants and warrants, liens, judgments, bankruptcies.

        If you're going to deny someone employment based on a background check you have to be FCRA compliant or you can get in some hot water.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
          David, you need to get some kind of fraud insurance coverage. If the company you deal with doesn't have it, they can, at least, point you in the right direction. The insurance company will do their own background check.

          Personally, I would not allow someone in my Paypal account.

          You might want to also call Paypal and ask them if they can set up a log in for your employee that would allow him/her to only issue refunds to people with a receipt number - in other words, someone who has actually made a purchase. You certainly don't want someone transferring money out of your account.

          Dixie
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      • Profile picture of the author DavidParnell
        How exactly do you become FCR compliant? Is this something I need to register with the city/state gov?

        Thanks for the offer...

        Don't credit reports also have "public records"?

        Does criminal history show up in this?
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    Doesn't PayPal have a way of setting up partial access to your account?
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    Gotta tell you guys a funny story about doing criminal/background checks...

    Several years ago, I owned a specialty contracting firm and we subcontracted quite a bit of work out to individuals who weren't exactly Rhodes Scholars, or Nobel Prize winner material.

    One major project that we picked up was located on a (US) domestic air force base and required us to collect quite a bit of information from each and every person that would set foot on that base during the construction period, because the military was going to do background checks prior to issuing them a base pass.

    The looks I got from these people as I shared this small caveat with them was absolutely priceless. You could see this blank look of "oh my god, I either need to confess EVERYTHING, or I don't have a job, or I try to get in anyway and they arrest me at the main gate". I had to spend about 30-45 minutes with each individual listening to every sin of the past ten years. I would walk away feeling like a Catholic priest. Some of the stories I heard made me wonder about Darwin's theory - survival of the fittest. I'm still a bit surprised that the human race hasn't winnowed itself down some based on some of the stupid stories I heard.

    At any rate, my personal philosophy is that the only employee who touches my money, is me. It's the other tasks that I assign to people, so that I have time to manage the finances.

    Talltom
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
      It's always a good idea to know who you are working with.

      As a former private investigator I've seen many background checks come up that would surprise you.

      Best to know all the facts. The real facts, not the ones put on a application that is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    I recommend database records:

    http://databaserecords.com/Business-Product-Page.html

    I have done some work for the owner and he was very dedicated, experienced, knowledgeable, and credible and their consumer history is great compared to many of the alternatives.
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    • Profile picture of the author DavidParnell
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      I recommend database records:

      Business Services!

      I have done some work for the owner and he was very dedicated, experienced, knowledgeable, and credible and their consumer history is great compared to many of the alternatives.
      Thanks Josh!

      How important do you guys think doing a credit check is when hiring?
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        There are a lot of people with blemishes on their credit in this economy so you will need to define what is acceptable. You also might need to have a release from the employee as a simple credit check can have a negative affect on a credit rating.

        As for the "thorough background check" you mentioned originally - I think that's a bit much. I could understand checking for criminal history but that's about it.

        What you need is a system of checks and procedures for handling your money that the employee would follow so that every amount refunded or whatever is accounted for daily. That's what businesses do when employees handle cash.

        I'd also follow through on contacting previous employers and vetting references.

        kay
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