Background Checks - Do you know who you’re dealing with?

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Background Checks - Do you know who you’re dealing with?

Everyone has secrets, some big, some small it’s a part of life. We all have our positive times and negative ones, if we didn’t then we would not be human. Many people have made mistakes and had trouble with the law in their past but went on to rectify and better themselves and more power to them. Generally, these people are honest about their past, especially to those who are close to them and put trust in them.

On the other hand, there are many at all levels of society that cheat, lie and are career criminals who try to pass themselves off as good and upstanding citizens. When first meeting someone be it for business or personal reasons you need to know who you are dealing with before things get too serious.

Most companies and businesses claim to run background checks on potential employees as part of their employment screening, but do they? This can be an issue when candidates have been put forward from and employment agency, who should have checked the person’s references and backgrounds but may have only provided the references supplied by the candidate which will be in their favor anyway.

A case that highlights this happened in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, a place where laws are in general very strict. In 2017 the Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai, hired and American music teacher, a Mr. William Ball, who after one semester was arrested and charged in the US with soliciting a minor for sex and child pornography. He had returned to the US specifically to meet for sex with what he thought to be an underage child but was arrested at Tampa airport by US Marshals.

Also, in UAE in 2017 a British-German teacher was arrested and jailed for possessing hundreds of pornographic images and videos of children. The 39-year-old male, taught at an elite private school in the Emirates and had previously taught at the Duchess of Cambridge’s old school in the UK. I am using these two cases as examples because these two pedophiles slipped through the system in UAE, which has very strict laws, so if we looked at the teaches in places where the regulations are not so strict, how many pedophiles and criminals would we find working in the school systems.

Convicted sex offenders in the US and most of Western Europe need to be registered, monitored by the police, are restricted on types of jobs they can work in and where they live. For that reason many try to seek employment in countries where their pasts will not be found out and they can live unhindered. It’s easy these days to get fake driving license online, fake certificates of qualifications or degrees. In August 2018 Melissa Howard a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in the US was exposed when posing in a photo with a copy of a degree, which she claimed was hers from the Miami University but turned out to be fake.

If people think they can get away with this when running to be a politician in the US, what will the convicted pedophile or habitual liar do to get a job in another country. Corporations, business and schools always need to ensure those they are hiring have the right qualifications and have nothing in their past history that could be a threat to their fellow workers and clientele.

On a more personal level if you’re employing house staff be it cleaners or nannies ensure that they have had a background check or at least check their references to ensure you know who you’re allowing into your house and to look after your children. I had one wealthy gentleman attend a training course I was running who when asked who his cleaners and gardeners were had no idea, apart from knowing their names, they came with the house when he bought it and he paid them cash… The cleaners were in his house as he was attending the class, he had no reason not to trust them but, I recommended just be on the safe side he found out who they actually were…

Even if someone comes from a personal recommendation find out as much about their backgrounds as possible especially if they are going to be left unattended in your home or in the case of a nanny, with your children. Just because someone seems prim and proper while you’re interviewing them or are presentable it does not mean they will act that way when you’re not around. You can always replace valuables if your cleaners decide to empty your house while you’re at work but if a nanny abuses your children the consequences are irreversible and can cause lifelong trauma to say the least.

In 2016 there was a case in the UAE where a maid started to put urine in the family’s food after an argument with her employer. This of course resulted in members of the family getting sick. Click here for the story. The UAE has very strict immigration laws, but they still have problems. If you run a quick internet search I am sure you will find many cases where unqualified and unchecked out nannies and domestic staff have been involved in incidents where the children they should have been looking after have ended up seriously injured or dead!

One of the places where most people are vulnerable to being deceived is in personal relationships. I am sure we all know someone who has been cheated on by their girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. I am also sure that a lot of the people reading this have been the ones doing the cheating, but this is a fact of life, relationships go bad, but deception is another thing.

I have heard many stories over the years of people getting into relationships with people who turned out to be already married, had children they had not mentioned, had excessive amounts of debt, were repeat criminal offenders and had a history of violence… But they had seemed like nice people when they first met them… All this could have been identified before people got serious, moved in together or got married. If a red flag is identified in someone’s past, isn’t it better to know at an early stage of the relationship and work with or end it before things get out of hand?

A classic example in which my associates and I were involved was that of an American gentleman who fell in love with a girl from Eastern Europe. She was a very attractive woman and she had given him the usual sob story so, he was sending her money, paying for her sister to go to school and even bought her a house. The gentleman contacted me when this girl was apparently kidnapped before she came to the US where he was going to propose to her. To make a long story short the kidnapping never happened, she was just playing the guy and wanted him to send her $50K USD for the supposed ransom.

In our initial investigation we identified the girl had a record for prostitution and was known to run an international call girl ring. The day she claimed to be kidnapped she flew to Germany instead of the US. I am sure she was playing multiple guys at the same time, but this American was head over heels in love with her and did not want to see the red flags. A simple check of her criminal history would have identified her previous issues with the law, but with her good looks, with her sweet and innocent persona I doubt most me would have cared until they realized how much money they has lost, to say the least…

I regularly hear from people who are having issues with relationships and believe their partners are cheating on them. Well to be honest I don’t judge people for what they do, I try to see things from both sides. People and situations change and, in many cases it’s best if all parties just move on. The real issues arise when there are money, assets and child custody involved. As with any potential hostile situation you don’t want to let things get to a point where you’ve been in denial while the other party has been making plans to walk away with what they want, and leave you scrambling to put things together.

In such sensitive situations it makes sense to confirm if your partner is cheating and to what extent. One-night stands while on business trips expose you to the threats of STD’s while your partner’s young lover, who is looking for some financial stability and a family of their own could rip yours apart. There are two different scenarios but both with their own unique problems.

The usual story and how things play out goes something like this. The business man in his 40’s or 50’s who is financially stable, married with kids ends up falling for the younger woman, due to a mid-life crisis, bored with his marriage or just wanting some excitement, there are various reasons. For him what starts off as a casual fling and adventure begins to get serious, in many cases he starts to financially support his new girlfriend.

Now his new girlfriend has her hooks in him, she has the leverage to manipulate him just with the threats that she can expose their relationship to the guy’s wife, so really the relationship is more like extortion. If the guy is wealthy the other long-term hook for his girlfriend would be to get pregnant and in places like the US, the guy has gone from the player with the hot side chick to the played; the guy whose balls can be squeezed whenever his nightmare of a side chick feels like it.

Could such situation be avoided, definitely, but if your partner is heading down this route you should confirm the situation and start making your own arrangements for any potential problems, be it divorce or child custody battles. Living in denial will only cause you more issues, pain and loss in the long run.

I would not say this article is about making you paranoid, it’s about making you aware of potential problems that can be avoided, it’s about being responsible, cautious, protecting assets, protecting yourself and your loved ones!

Orlando W.

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