Many people utilise background search facilities to find out whether an individual has a criminal record, to view their credit histories or simply to back up claims that they have made about where they went to university, where they live and the like.
There are several ways to find out background information about people yourself, but many people prefer to use professionals in the form of private investigators as they have more experience in digging up information and access to more efficient tools to find information.
Why do a background check?
If you are looking to hire an individual for a job in which you would have to rely on them, you will want to know that the individual is trustworthy and will not lie to you or let you down. The best way to do this is to find out if the individual has ever conducted themselves illegally or badly in the past and to find out as much as you can about their background and history.
There may be many other reasons that you would like to find out about the background of an individual and there are several ways to do this using background search facilities in South Africa.
Doing it yourself
If you are set on doing a background check on an individual by yourself, then you will need to gain access to background search facilities. It is most likely that you will be interested in finding out if the individual has a criminal record and if so, the details of that record. You may also be interested in the individual’s credit record and any records or details about where they went to school or university, what their end of year exam results were and other relevant pieces of information.
The South African Police Service’s Criminal Record Centre holds all the records of any individual in South Africa who has been charged with a crime. The Criminal Record Centre will also have all the information and details about the crimes committed. They have a database of records, each identified by the set of fingerprints of the individual who committed a crime. If you would like to do a criminal record check on any individual, you will have to get their fingerprints and apply for access to the South African Police Service’s Criminal Record Centre. You will then have access to the database and be able to check any individual for a criminal record.
If you wanted to do a credit check on an individual you would also have to apply to the body responsible for credit records. You would, of course, have to get consent from the individual for this. The individual’s credit record will tell you whether they have been responsible in paying their debts.
Hiring a professional
Conducting a background search on an individual can be tedious and frustrating if you are not trained in the field. In order to make sure that you get accurate information on any individual’s background, credit score or criminal record, you could hire a private investigator to conduct the background check.
A private investigator will have a lot of experience finding out information and will be able to do it quickly. It may cost you a bit of money to gain access to criminal record facilities and credit scores if you were conducting the search by yourself anyway, and so paying a professional will not be too much of a sacrifice and will mean that you will receive the most accurate information in the quickest amount of time.
Other ways to find out information
There are other ways to find out information about individuals. You could simply conduct a Google search using the person’s name and see what comes up. If they have a Facebook or other social media profile and if they have not privatised it, you could visit their profiles and find out more about them. Google would also bring up any news articles in which they may have been mentioned.