The Difference Between A Background Check And Background Investigation

Person Hand Filling Criminal Background Check Application Form

Some people may use the terms background check and background investigation interchangeably, but the truth is, there are significant differences between them. While the information available in a background check will often be replicated in a background investigation but in more detail, one or the other may be a better option for you depending on your purposes.

Background Checks

Background checks are typically done with the intention of verifying a person’s integrity. Common instances where a background check can be required include scanning an applicant for a job, especially when it comes to jobs where employees are responsible for the wellbeing of others such as nursing and teaching. When you go to a PI to get a background check run, the name of the subject is put through a database only available to law enforcement and PIs.

Below is a list of data that can be acquired from background checks:

  • Date of birth
  • Address and address history
  • Criminal records and judgments (if any)
  • Licenses
  • Properties owned
  • Financial and bankruptcy history
  • Employment history
  • … and more

The problem with background checks is that databases can provide inconsistent information. To this end, an experienced PI will always run a background check through multiple databases before comparing and deciphering the information obtained.

Background Investigations

Background investigations are much more in-depth than background checks and are often conducted to look into a person’s past to determine who they really are. Besides the information that can be glimpsed from a background check, publicly available records can also be utilized to gather insights into a person’s life and character.

In addition, interviews are often conducted as part of a background investigation and can provide valuable insights into an individual’s life. For instance, they may have gone by a different name or lived a completely different life before. This information can be used to sieve out any inconsistencies, misrepresentations, omissions and more.

Background Check or Investigation?

To summarize things, a background check is used to scratch the surface of a person’s character through objective data and information. However, such information alone often does not tell the full story. To truly validate the character of a person, a background investigation is your best bet at leaving no stone unturned.

Hire Your Private Investigator at Probity Investigations

Do you suspect that your spouse is having an affair? Or are you in the midst of a divorce and suspect that your spouse is hiding certain financial information? If so, you may have considered hiring a private investigator to investigate your case. Our professional PIs at Probity Investigations understand the distress that can come with such cases and will handle your information with the highest level of discretion and confidentiality.

At Probity Investigations, we have a team of specialists who are experts at obtaining evidence for spousal affairs and alimony cases. We have helped many obtain closure and will be able to help you too. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.