We live in a time when it is not uncommon for a person to live in several states throughout their life. When is called in on a due diligence investigation or background check, we see that trend.

If a subject has lived in a number of counties and states, that could be a major stumbling block for online search companies. Sometimes the subject has not divulged every place they have lived and that omission can result in incomplete or inaccurate information in the end.

For example, those who provide due diligence services know that there is no main comprehensive database that includes total state or national records.   There are 3,140 counties and parishes in the US.  And county records must be researched county by county. Those types of records would include criminal records, litigation and lawsuit records, property ownership records and even driving records.

Geographic links open avenues of investigation in the due diligence process that might be overlooked if an investigator does not pick up the phone and call the county clerk. It must be done manually and takes time. Plus, many counties across the nation still maintain their records by hand. Most online background check services usually rely solely on digital records.

Finding geographic links is one reason why a subject is asked to list previous residences on applications and in background information. What used to be a couple of locations around the county are now often residences in several states.  Now many business’s HR due diligence checklists reflect this change but people requesting background checks for personal reasons don’t often consider it.

We are often asked to conduct due diligence background checks on people who have met through online dating sites. Where a person has lived throughout their life may not be something that can be answered by our client, but it is information that could be important to providing a complete picture of the subject.

So, if you are considering hiring an investigator to perform due diligence or a background check, do your homework. Besides aliases (names the person has also used like maiden name, former married names, etc.) and accurate social security number, find out where this person has lived.

In most cases, suggests the subject sign a form authorizing the investigation.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations