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  1. #1
    KeithAR is offline Junior Member
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    Background/credit check before Interview?

    What is the name of your state? NY

    I have been asked by a few companies lately to provide my Social security number, birthdate, Drivers License # and full current address on a Pre employment Investigative background Inquiry release form or similar. This form then has to be faxed back to the company with a signature. This form basically is an authorization to obtain any and all information about me and my background including my credit history.

    What I find is unusual is they require this form before they will even set up an interview.

    My question is one of legality. Can they require this information before an interview or making an offer?

    What recourse do I have other than not providing the information and looking for another opportunity?

    Should I be concerned about identity theft or other harm to me?
  2. #2
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    It is EXCEEDINGLY unusual for this information to be requested pre interview, but I don't know of any laws against it.
  3. #3
    KeithAR is offline Junior Member
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    Clarification

    NY


    Are they allowed to ask for Drivers License number , Social Security number and date of birth for the interview and or background check process pre interview? My feeling is with all this information and my current address they can get a full credit report and any information from any other source and if they were dishonest they could steal my identity and ruin me.

    I have run into this kind of request two times before and background/credit checks are being asked for much more frequently than they had in the past. Some companies call a Credit Check a background check. I always thought these two things were different?

    Why would they need a credit check for a position where I would not be handling money?

    Why would they need my drivers license if I will not be driving their vehicle or driving as part of my job?
    Last edited by KeithAR; 02-02-2005 at 05:03 PM.
  4. #4
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Please read my amended response.

    Yes. It is legal for them to ask for that information pre-interview. It is EXTREMELY unusual and I would question the motives of a company that did so, but it is not against the law.

    They could steal your identity and run if they asked for this information post interview, too.
  5. #5
    SuzieWahoozie is offline Member
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    Have you asked them why they are requesting this information before they even know whether they are interested in hiring you or you know whether you are interested in continuing to pursue employment with them?

    It is nearly impossible to run a credit check without your knowledge/approval. They have to provide certain information to you in order for them to be in compliance with the FCRA.

    However, just so you know, sometimes, even if you aren't handling cash, employers will run credit reports to verify that you are who you say you are. How do they know YOU haven't stolen someone else's identity? It also gives them information about previous addresses, which might be helpful in performing criminal background checks. And although I don't necessarily agree with the thought, some employers believe people who have bad credit also have bad character. They may want to ask further questions if there is a bad credit history - knowing "why" your credit is bad is sometimes beneficial. A person who says, "I have a child with cerebral palsy who requires extensive medical care and a vindictive ex-husband who cancels his insurance without warning," is much different than someone with a more lackadaisical, "I pay my bills when I get around to it," or "I consistently live outside my means," lifestyle. One if these people is a basically responsible person caught in a bad situation. The other is a slug.
  6. #6
    KeithAR is offline Junior Member
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    They said they had to have the background check/credit check before the interview and sent me a form requesting the information and my permission. Their reasons were the company that had the contract requires the information. I asked if the position required clearance ( this was for a government contract job) they said no.

    When I started voicing concerns about privacy they decided to not pursue me as an applicant and told me they would destroy the email and the form. They told me no one had ever asked the questions I asked or asked for copies of all information obtained. One of my concerns was the statement on the form that copies would be held in their files and there was no limit on how long this information would be kept. It appeared to me no safeguards were in place for this information.

    Thank you everyone for your responses.


    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieWahoozie
    Have you asked them why they are requesting this information before they even know whether they are interested in hiring you or you know whether you are interested in continuing to pursue employment with them?

    It is nearly impossible to run a credit check without your knowledge/approval. They have to provide certain information to you in order for them to be in compliance with the FCRA.

    However, just so you know, sometimes, even if you aren't handling cash, employers will run credit reports to verify that you are who you say you are. How do they know YOU haven't stolen someone else's identity? It also gives them information about previous addresses, which might be helpful in performing criminal background checks. And although I don't necessarily agree with the thought, some employers believe people who have bad credit also have bad character. They may want to ask further questions if there is a bad credit history - knowing "why" your credit is bad is sometimes beneficial. A person who says, "I have a child with cerebral palsy who requires extensive medical care and a vindictive ex-husband who cancels his insurance without warning," is much different than someone with a more lackadaisical, "I pay my bills when I get around to it," or "I consistently live outside my means," lifestyle. One if these people is a basically responsible person caught in a bad situation. The other is a slug.

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