FAQs

Q?

What information is included in a final report?

A.

Each screening report includes the applicant’s personal identifier information and a summary and detailed findings of our background investigation. A simple color-coding system is used to draw your attention to noteworthy findings.

Q?

Will I be able to check the status of a pending request or to view a final report online?

A.

Yes, you can access any report 24/7. During orientation, your account manager will demonstrate two options.

  •  Click on links contained in AccuSearch Online notification emails; or

  •  Log directly onto AccuSearch Online.

Q?

How can I be sure that my applicant’s personal information will be protected?

A.

To ensure high-level security and maintain data privacy, our application servers are housed inside a secure, state-of-the-art data center that is monitored by cameras and guarded around-the-clock. Entrance to the facility is restricted and all data transmitted to and from our application servers is encrypted using a 128-bit SSL certificate. Also, our application servers are protected by dual-level firewall technology.

Q?

How and when will I be billed?

A.

Shortly after month-end, AccuSearch will send to your designated billing contact an email that includes an AccuSearch Online invoice.
Payment is due upon receipt of invoice. AccuSearch accepts all major credit cards. For added convenience, we can keep card information on file and automatically charge your card each month.

Q?

What if I want to include a drug screen?

A.

Once your new account has been set up, an AccuSearch account manager will contact you to provide an orientation and show you how to order a drug screen.

Q?

How do I order a background screen?

A.

Once your new account has been set up, an AccuSearch account manager will contact you to provide an orientation.

Q?

How do I set up an account?

A.

You must first submit a New Account Application. When you click on Open an Account we will ask for information about your company and primary contact, plus we will ask you to read and agree to the terms and conditions of our Consumer Report User Agreement. Once you’ve submitted your New Account Application online, you will be instructed to fax us a copy of an official document that proves your organization’s right to conduct business, such as a business license. This is required as part of our authentication and verification process. Once we have completed our due diligence, typically within 24 hours, we will contact you to confirm account set-up and to provide orientation.

Q?

Are there any sign-up fees or monthly fees or minimums?

A.

No. There is no cost to set up or maintain an AccuSearch account.

Q?

Can any company or organization open an account with AccuSearch?

A.

The company or organization must:

  • be a legitimate entity;

  • supply evidence of its right to conduct business;

  • forecast the need for at least 10 background screens over the next 12 months; and

  • agree to abide by the terms and conditions outlined in our Consumer Report User Agreement.

Q?

Does AccuSearch have a web-based order entry and tracking system?

A.

Yes, AccuSearch Online is a secure, state-of-the-art, web-based system that speeds up pre-employment background screening and simplifies the process for Human Resources professionals. Each client is provided a unique user ID and system password that enables 24/7 access to AccuSearch Online to order background screens, check the status of screens underway, or view finished reports.

Q?

How long does it take to complete a background check?

A.

AccuSearch completes about nine out of ten pre-employment background checks within 24-72 hours. Occasionally, a screen can take longer. For example, if our investigation uncovers a court record that might belong to the applicant, additional research will be required. AccuSearch strives for quick turnaround, but we will never compromise accuracy for speed.

Q?

What other background screening services does AccuSearch offer?

A.

AccuSearch offers a number of background screening services in addition to verifications and reports, and searches of criminal records, sex offender lists and criminal databases:

OFAC Terrorist Watch List Search The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) maintains a list of individuals, groups and entities, including terrorists and narcotics traffickers, collectively known as "Specially Designated Nationals." Their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. Firms should check this list on an ongoing basis.

OIG Excluded Individuals/Entities List SearchThe United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintains a List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) – parties excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and all Federal health care programs. Every healthcare organization is restricted from hiring, employing or working with any individual or entity that appears on OIG's LEIE.

Civil Litigation Search– A search of county and/or federal civil court records will help identify whether an applicant has a history of suing others or of being sued himself. Some employers are especially interested in learning whether an applicant has been involved in any civil cases alleging violations of trade secrets or non-compete agreements, for example.

 

Q?

How much do Pre-Employment Background Checks Cost?

A.

AccuSearch background screening packages start at just $12.00 .  To discuss a background screening search to fit your custom needs, please contact us

Q?

Are sex offender registries useful? How and when should they be searched?

A.

Federal law requires registered sex offenders to notify the FBI and state authorities within 10 days of moving to a new address. Employers should consider a search of sex offender registries especially when the successful candidate will interact with youth, or elderly or incapacitated persons. AccuSearch offers searches of registered sex offender indices on a state-by-state and “national” basis.

Q?

Are criminal databases useful? How and when should they be searched?

A.

Companies promoting inexpensive “instant nationwide criminal record searches” rely on criminal record databases that are merely compilations of criminal records collected from various sources across the country. Since criminal databases do not contain all the criminal records from any jurisdiction, while sifting through millions of records from far-off courts your screening agency runs the risk of missing a record in a county where the applicant resides or recently lived. For this reason, AccuSearch recommends searches of criminal databases only as a supplement to, and not as a substitute for, a county-level criminal record search.
AccuSearch  “national” criminal database searches. Limited identifier information appears in criminal databases, making it difficult to determine with certainty whether a particular record belongs to the applicant. In order to verify the accuracy and current status of any record found in a criminal database and thereby comply with the FCRA, additional county-level research is required, at added expense, before the record can be reported.

Q?

How does AccuSearch determine where an applicant has lived and what names (s)he has used?

A.

We begin every background check with a Social Security Number trace and address & alias search. If we spot any irregularities we will note them in our report. By studying the names and addresses that link to the SSN supplied by the applicant, our researchers are able to determine which names and counties should be checked for criminal records. AccuSearch’s customary practice is to investigate all names discovered, including maiden and alias names, and to search for criminal records in all counties in which the applicant has resided over the past 7 years. Since searching additional names or jurisdictions can sometimes increase costs, we offer the option of first seeking a client’s authorization before researching them.
For an even more comprehensive search, employers should also consider checking neighboring counties and any other counties where the applicant has attended school or worked. Plus, we recommend federal criminal searches for clients seeking an added measure of precaution, and for positions of higher rank, responsibility or risk. In order to avoid any appearance of bias, we urge clients to develop screening guidelines by job level, classification or department, and to stick to them.

Q?

What comprises a criminal background check?

A.

The vast majority of crimes committed are violations of state or local laws. These cases are tried in the county courts of the states. Each court across the nation is responsible for maintaining records of all criminal charges within its jurisdiction, so most criminal background checks involve criminal record searches in counties of interest. More serious cases, felony offenses, are tried in a county’s courts of general jurisdiction (upper-level courts; e.g., Superior, Circuit), while lesser offenses, known as misdemeanors, are decided in a county’s courts of limited jurisdiction (lower-level courts; e.g., Justice, District, Magistrate). An AccuSearch county criminal history search consists of a search of the criminal case index in the county’s central courthouse, at minimum. So some cases may not be reported, such as misdemeanors filed in outlying courts or misdemeanors and minor offenses filed in municipal courts that are not searched due to time and cost constraints.

Violations of federal law, such as bank robberies or kidnappings, are tried in U.S. District Courts. AccuSearch offers statewide federal
criminal record searches covering all districts within a state. Notably, personal identifier information in federal case files can be sparse, sometimes making it difficult to determine with certainty whether a particular record belongs to the applicant, in which case the record cannot be reported.

Q?

What happens if my applicant disputes the findings of a background screening report?

A.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) outlines procedures that must be followed in the event that an applicant chooses to dispute findings. The applicant may submit his/her dispute to the prospective employer or directly to the screening agency. The agency is responsible for conducting a re-investigation and reporting its findings directly to the applicant.

Q?

How can I verify an applicant’s Social Security Number?

A.

Once an employer has extended a job offer to an applicant, the employer may call the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify the new employee’s SSN. If the reported first, middle and last names, date of birth, and gender perfectly match their records, the SSA will confirm a match. If there’s not a match, the SSA will suggest that you advise your new employee to immediately contact them.

Q?

Why is an applicant’s date of birth and race required for a background check?

A.

Personal identifiers, including DOB and race, help our screeners determine whether records found in the course of an investigation do indeed belong to your applicant. If you would prefer not to have such information pass through your HR department, you can instruct applicants to fax their Release forms directly to AccuSearch.

Q?

How should I decide which screening services to order?

A.

It depends on the position for which you are recruiting. For instance, if  it is important that the successful candidate hold a particular license or academic degree, then ask to verify a license or credentials or education. If you are seeking someone with relevant job experience, ask us to verify prior employment. If the applicant, if hired, would drive a car on company business, request a driving report. Request an employment credit report if the applicant will have financial responsibility or access to sensitive data, cash drawers, inventory or other valuables. Studies have shown that as many as one out of three resumes contains material inaccuracies. It is well worth the added cost to avoid becoming a victim of resume fraud.

Pre-employment drug screening is another popular add-on service, especially in situations where the new employee will have financial responsibility, interact with the public, operate potentially dangerous equipment or machinery, or execute complicated work processes.

Q?

What comprises a pre-employment background check?

A.

Although no universally-accepted standard exists for pre-employment background screens, nearly every one includes a criminal background check; the breadth, depth and scope of which can vary widely. In addition, depending upon the responsibilities of the position, the employer might choose to include verifications of education and/or prior employment, or reports concerning the applicant’s driving or credit history. An AccuSearch account manager can help you select the services that best suit your needs.