What Do I Do If I Find Mistakes In My Background Check?

Mistakes In My Background Check?

Getting turned down by an employer due to a faulty background check is one of the worst things that can happen to you professionally since you are being punished for something you did not do, write, or say. In this article, we take a look at the common mistakes made by background checking companies and the steps you can take to fix the errors in your background check report.

Common Mistakes Made by Background Check Companies

If you share your name with a person with a criminal record, the background check company might accidentally match their record with your name. This is one of the most common mistakes made by background check service providers.

Other kinds of mistakes made by background check companies include:

  • Disclosing criminal records that were expunged

  • Listing the same criminal charge several times in the report

  • Mislabeling a misdemeanor as a felony

  • Reporting an arrest without mentioning the fact that no charges were filed


How to Fix the Errors in Your Background Check Report

Get the Report  Ask for a copy of your background check report from the employer who turned you down. They cannot deny your request since they are mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide you with a copy of your background check report.

Find the Errors  Go through the report carefully and look for errors and discrepancies. Make a detailed note of all the errors, so that you can get it all fixed at once, rather than filing a separate request with the background check company for each error.

Fix the Errors  Depending on the type of errors in your report, you might have to contact the background check company, your credit report agency, or your past employer.

For example, if you have been wrongly assigned someone else’s criminal record, you can notify the background check company of the mistake and ask them to correct it. They are legally required to investigate the issue and correct the mistakes within a span of 30 days. If they refuse to do so, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

If, on the other hand, there is a mistake in your credit report, there is no point in contacting the background check company, since they can only reproduce what is already in your credit report. They do not have the authority to make any changes to your credit data on their own. So, in such a scenario, you need to contact the credit report agency directly.

You should write a letter to the credit report agency to inform them of the mistakes in your credit report. The agency will verify the authenticity of your claim, correct the mistakes within a span of 30 days, and provide you with a copy of the updated report.

The Need to Review Your Background Check Reports

To avoid the possibility of getting turned down by an employer due to a faulty background check, you can contact a personal background check provider and run a background check on yourself. This way, you can find out what a potential employer or landlord might see if they conduct a background check on you and take the necessary steps to fix the errors if there are any. 

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