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Hands-on Customer Service: Why it Matters

Author: Pinnacle Investigations

In a rapidly accelerating age of technological advances, automation has become a desired commodity. Our bank accounts can be set up to pay our bills for us. We can pull into our driveway while a signal on our phone tells our house to unlock the door and turn on the lights. Even our groceries can be set to re-order themselves at specific intervals. As convenient as these things can be, however, would you trust the security of your company with a hands-off, purely automated background screening process?

About two months ago, while running a routine, pre-employment background check, one of our investigators noticed the social security trace returned results for a completely different individual than listed on the application. She reached out to our client, who confirmed that the SSN on file matched the one she was given by the applicant. We pressed further and asked for a copy of the applicant’s social security card. That’s when we all noticed one of the digits on the card looked a bit…off.

At this point, I utilized a system that allows me to try different numbers in place of the suspect digit. Lo and behold, one of the numbers he had given to our client was wrong; he had falsified it on his social security card. After reviewing the results of the correct SSN, we found he had also falsified his date of birth. This was confirmed by the date of birth verified on the motor vehicle report.

The results of the newly corrected criminal history searches were shocking. Across multiple counties, as early as two years prior, he had various felony and misdemeanor convictions for making false sales documents, theft, resisting law enforcement, altering a driver’s license, and criminal mischief. Had we not taken the results of the mismatched social security trace and looked further, this individual would have been allowed access to a high-security workplace, putting them, their employees, and their customers at risk. When confronted by our client, the applicant was “evasive,” and “made statements which suggest deception and a guilty conscience.” After being given a copy of the report, he never answered another phone call from the potential employer.

An automated system wouldn’t have been able to string this information together. It lacks the instinct to follow up on questionable information and dig deeper. At Pinnacle Investigations we have to handle situations like this too often. I can think of another example recently where we helped a health care provider uncover some serious charges of elder abuse that wouldn’t have been found if we didn’t probe further into suspicious information.

Unfortunately, not everyone applying for a job has the best of intentions. Every so often, someone tries to skirt the system to avoid having their past detected, potentially putting your company at risk. Our client in this case told us, “Your work is instrumental in our ability to reduce risk and protect our company.”

We are a true partner in creating a safe, secure workplace. That’s the Pinnacle difference. 

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