Food & shelter are among the basic biological or physiological needs identified by Abraham Maslow in his “Hierarchy of Needs” motivational model.
It is not surprising then, that there are those who resort to fraud or identity theft to secure a job or place to live. They may present with the name, Social Security Number (SSN), credit, employment and residence history of a friend… or that of a perfect stranger. Either way, you are at considerable risk if you accept them – risk of credit loss or worse.
Applicant Authentication – Best Practice #7
Data returned in background checks or otherwise developed as part of the screening process, is of no value unless we are certain that the applicant is who they say they are. The first step in the tenant or employee screening process, therefore, must be to confirm the identity of the applicant. Human resource and property management professionals know well the importance of requiring unexpired government-issued photo ID as part of the application process – prior to ordering a background check.
Documents can be forged, however, so we look to our tenant or employee background check companies to further authenticate applicants by comparing address and employment history information provided by the applicant to that found in the header portion of consumer and pre-employment credit reports, the public record or other tools available to consumer reporting agencies.
Direct-to-consumer tenant and employee screening products take authentication to the next level by automating the process – by securely matching applicants to their credit files and by presenting a series of questions that only they can answer. These programs are very sophisticated – very
accurate and very good at detecting fraud.
Confirming the identity of applicants is arguably the most important step in the tenant or employee screening process. Applicants are authenticated in one of two ways:
- Manually – by requiring unexpired government-issued photo ID and by comparing that information to information found in the application, credit report and other sources.
- Electronically – by leveraging technology such as Experian’sTM Precise IDSM and Knowledge IQSM (PID/KIQ) fraud prevention platform.