Utilising background checks to avoid employee fraud

Employee fraud can have devastating consequences for a business and as concern over disgruntled employees committing fraud rises in 2011, employers are looking for different ways in which to combat internal fraud. Current economic conditions prevailing in 2011 could have a severe and negative impact on employee morale – which is one of the main contributors to increasing incidences of employee fraud. Corporate SA is losing an estimated R150 billion annually to insider fraud, according to Steven Powell head of forensics at law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs.

The volume of background checks carried out by EMPS increased by 18 per cent in 2010, despite an obvious slowdown in recruitment, demonstrating a tightening-up in employee screening. While it is crucial to deal with this issue in the recruitment process, to truly safeguard against insider fraud HR needs to maintain an element of screening throughout the employment contract.



School board background checks in full swing


 Board of education members statewide will be fingerprinted in the coming weeks to comply with a new state law that requires they undergo a criminal history check.

The state Department of Education has sent procedures to school districts, and is urging trustees to get the digital fingerprints done as soon as possible, said Faith Sarafin, spokeswoman for the department.



Social Media Background Checks Here to Stay

Social Media background checks are here to stay, approved by the FTC and increasingly adopted by corporations as a way to screen applicants. The good news is that you need to be a pretty big jerk to flunk one.

A social media background check is a little more sophisticated that checking your Facebook account, but not much. Basically, after you apply for a job at a company, the company–with your permission–hires another company to check you out on the web.

Having the third company check you out on the web is an important part of the process. Employers can’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, sexual orientation and so forth. But if the company does the background check on the web itself, that photo of you with your church group marching in the Gay Pride parade is going to put them in a seriously bad position. If they don’t hire you, you can claim it’s because of that picture.



DuPont (Wilmington, Del.) on July 25th, 2011 announced that it has acquired Innovalight Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), a company specializing in advanced silicon inks and process technologies that increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells.

The acquisition further strengthens DuPont’s position as a leader in materials for the solar energy market, enabling a broader and more integrated photovoltaic materials and technology offering from DuPont. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Innovalight has very exciting technology that improves cell efficiency and DuPont can help expedite its adoption,” said David B. Miller, president – DuPont Electronics & Communications.



Are Social Media Employment Background Checks Legal

FTC and Social Media Employment Background Checks

When it comes to social media employment background checks, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has indicated that it plans to hold employers gaining information about potential employees over the internet subject to the same accountability as employers who obtain information about prospective employees in more traditional ways.

This means, among other laws and regulations, that social media employment background checks must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

As the consumer protection branch of the federal government, the FTC works in part to protect the privacy and reputation value inherent in people’s names. This protection has extended to the FTC enforcing regulations whereby employers must do diligent research into the accuracy of data provided to them about potential future employees.




Mat Honan

Your next job application could require a social media background check. Odds are, you have no clue what that means. Nobody does. It’s new and scary and probably scours the Web for pictures of you puking on the beach.

But screw speculation. We wanted to know. So we ran background checks on six Gizmodo employees. Here’s what we found, and why you should both freak out about and embrace it.



Fraudulent Education and Employment Claims Increase Background Background Checks

By Gordon Basichis

Fraudulent claims from international employment candidates, especially from China, have necessitated an increased in employment and education verification background checks for employers looking to recruit applicants from these regions.   Many employment screening services have reported that the growing problem of academic and work qualification fraud in China has lead to increased business from background checking agencies.

For a long time international candidates made fraudulent claims and for the most part they went uncontested. Staffing agencies and employers for a long time accepted the information on CV’s and resumes pretty much at face value.  But no longer.



i found you!

by Blake Forrester

Most employers can easily grasp why running a quality background check is important, but unfortunately there are many myths floating around about background checks that could get even a well-meaning employer in trouble.

One myth is that there is some kind of national database to which private employers have access which contains all the information an employer could ever need to ascertain a potential employee’s criminal history and to confirm the education and employment information they have claimed. If only it were that easy.

Doing a thorough background check necessitates a lot of legwork and attention to detail. You have to know where to look, and you have to look in a lot of places. For a criminal background check, for instance, there are over 10,000 courthouses in the United States that have relevant records. These courthouses must be visited in person; they do not combine all their records somewhere for the convenience of employers.

A related myth is that to do a proper background check you need only consult commercially available databases.

Unfortunately while such commercial database services might seem attractively inexpensive, you get what you pay for. How likely do you think it is that the folks who compiled these databases went to all 10,000 courthouses and checked and double checked everything to minimize false positives and false negatives? Not very.

A third myth is that as an employer it’s really not too hard to do a background check that’s “good enough” so that if anything does go wrong you can’t be blamed.

In fact, the due diligence that is required of you can be quite stringent, not to mention unpredictable since it may boil down to what a given jury decides on a given day would have been a reasonable effort on your part to investigate a potential employee.

A fourth myth is the common belief that employers can disqualify an applicant based on a criminal conviction without a business justification.

Once a person has “done his time” the law does not allow him to be indiscriminately penalized the rest of his life by being rendered unemployable. If the nature of the job, the specific offense he committed, the amount of time that has elapsed since the crime, etc. indicate that he would be a substantial risk, then yes, you are within your rights as an employer to deny him a job. You are not required to hire a convicted sex offender to work at your day care, for instance. But if he smoked marijuana 25 years ago, that’s not sufficient grounds to rule him out for employment repairing clocks in your shop.

Source: pre-employ

by Melissa Rubin

Diploma mills are no laughing matter. They have caused hundreds of Americans thousands of dollars, fines, and abashed dreams of turning an online university education into a promising career. How can you make sure you aren’t one of the many whose been conned?

The following is a checklist of items you want to make sure your online university does not have. Remember, anything worth having is earned – and earned by hard work and perseverance.

Make sure the online university you’re looking at does not meet the following, and your online education s on the right path.

  1. They often have names similar to well-known colleges or universities, but fail to mention an accrediting agency or name a fake accrediting agency.
  2. The organization frequently changes addresses, sometimes moving from state to state.
  3. Written materials typically include numerous spelling and grammatical errors, sometimes on the diploma itself.
  4. Overemphasis on the speed and brevity with which someone can receive a degree (e.g. “Call now and have your degree shipped to you overnight!”).
  5. Degrees can be earned in far less time than normal (e.g. 27 days) or the diploma is printed with a specific backdate.
  6. There is no selectivity in admissions, or any questions about previous test scores or detailed academic history.
  7. No interaction with professors or faculty (e.g. only two emails are received from a professor).
  8. Degree requirements are vague or unspecified, lacking class descriptions and without any mention of how many credit hours are required to complete a program.
  9. Tuition and fees are typically on a per-degree basis.
  10. Grade point average (GPA) and academic honors (e.g. Summa Cum Laude) can be specified at the time of purchase.
Source: universityfacts

Prospective caregivers for some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens may soon be subject to extensive criminal record searches, thanks to a $3 million grant to establish a comprehensive statewide system for thorough background checks.

“The Commonwealth of Kentucky is very pleased to participate in this critical initiative that is designed to help long-term care facilities and providers avoid hiring individuals with certain criminal histories by conducting federal and state level background checks on prospective job applicants,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This falls directly in line with our ongoing work to address elder abuse and improve patient care in long-term care facilities.”

Currently, state law requires long-term care facilities to conduct only name-based background checks for their prospective employees. This grant, however, will help the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) purchase equipment to conduct digital fingerprint background checks, which will ultimately enhance patient safety.

The grant enables the state to purchase live scan equipment to secure digital fingerprints that will be used for both in-state and FBI criminal background checks, according to cabinet officials.

Kentucky is home to 590 long-term care facilities, 101 assisted living facilities, and roughly 600 other providers who employ direct patient access workers.

Once established, this new statewide system will allow officials to perform more in-depth screening of applicants seeking employment at nursing, intermediate care and Alzheimer’s facilities; personal care and family care homes; home health agencies, hospice care providers, long-term care hospitals, personal services agencies, adult day care providers, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and other entities that provide long-term services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is charged with administering the National Background Check Program (NBCP), created under Section 6201 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This agency is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last year, Beshear ordered a multi-agency review – coordinated by the CHFS – that resulted in a comprehensive report on the protection of nursing home residents. The Cabinet has implemented many recommendations included in the report. Additionally, the cabinet has revived the state Elder Abuse Committee to continue the vital collaboration between agencies and stakeholders in an effort to enhance measures aimed at protecting Kentucky’s seniors.

The state also joined the national Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program. In the program, states work with medical professionals to detect cases where older Americans are being scammed.

On the heels of these actions, Beshear supported and later signed into law two pieces of legislation targeted at protecting adults and the elderly from abuse and exploitation. The laws, which specifically addressed guardianship of adults, bar individuals convicted of felony abuse or exploitation of an adult from serving as that victim’s guardian, executor or power of attorney. The other measure makes the guardianship process more accessible for those who are dealing with more than one state.

“The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is committed to our mission to protect Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens,” said CHFS Secretary Janie Miller. “We are pleased to take part in the National Background Check Program and commend Beshear for his continued leadership and support of issues that safeguard Kentucky’s seniors.”

As the state begins to implement the grant, it seeks input from the provider community and public and private stakeholders on the development of legislation designed to expand current background check policies. For more information or to provide input on the new program, contact the Office of the Inspector General at (502) 564-2888.

Source: lex18