Corra Daily Planet » 2009 » October

Background Checks for Potential Financial Fraud Scams

Mon, October 26th, 2009 - 5:54 am - By Gordon Basichis

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This tough economy has generated a whole new series of fraud scams.  Some of which have come to my attention through clients.  One such  may revolve around the pretext of the TARP or stimulus package bailouts.   This proposition is posed as a win-win situation for everyone.    Whether it is in the end remains questionable.

This particular proposal was passed to us by concerned parties.  We helped them vet the company so at the end of the day our clients did not go forward with the loan.  We believe the client may have avoided significant financial losses as well as the embarrassment of being taken.

But some out there may not be so lucky.  Our clients are savvy people, and there were enough red flags before they even brought it to Corra Group for review that put them on alert.    As part of our business research service, we can run a series of background checks in the corporate entities involved as well as the principal executives.      It is the prudent way to go.   The few bucks you spend up front  for the different background checks can save a whole truckload of aggravation.

Remember, many scams work when the people and their businesses are in desperate need of money.  The economic downturn has left them wanting and they are less prone to read the fine print or conduct the corporate research that is necessary when vetting these financial transactions.

In this case, our client was supposed to pay $2,500 as a processing fee so that the various brokers involved would use their best efforts to obtain the desired loan.   Our clients were also supposed to put up about ten percent of the line into an escrow account.  If the loan was not obtainable, they were to get their ten percent deposit back.

However, here is one red flag.    The escrow company was not specified.   It could have been offshore.  It could have been nonexistent.  In any case, clients and Corra alike feared , if the line was denied or otherwise unachievable, it would tough getting the entire down payment returned.  If that were the case, our client would have to calculate legal fees and time factors that my be necessary in retrieving the deposit.

At any rate, do not engage in financial transactions with unknown sources without conducting adequate business researc, including business credit reports.  Even then… be careful.

Find below the pitch letter that our clients first received.  Looks good.  Almost too good to be true.  And there is the issue.   We have removed any names of companies and individuals for obvious reasons.  (See Below)

As part of the stimulus package, banks have received funds from the federal government called TARP.  We have secured a very competent and experienced broker for these loans who has a 90% success rate on his applications.  His fees are paid by the bank and are regulated by the government.  We of course do not collect any fees or commission in arranging these loans.

In a nutshell, the loans are 10 year; 4.75% with a minimum of $400,000.

Also in a nutshell, the requirements are as follow:

  1. minimum 10 new jobs created;
  2. 680 credit score;
  3. experience or training (we provide that);
  4. when approved 10% down;
  5. personal assets above $250K;
  6. 3 years personal taxes;
  7. projections, business plan (we’ll help with that);
  8. 10-15 days to approval, 2-4 weeks to disbursement.

Please note that should you wish to open more than one location, you can request the funds for that purpose as well.  The loan is a line of credit, you only pay interest on what you borrow.

Another interesting aspect of it is that the proceeds for the loan can be used at your discretion, as long as a new business with a minimum of 10 new jobs is created, for example to also support your existing location.

From our side, we will come up with reduced rate for development and franchise fees to do our part to make this happen.

Please let me know if you are interested, in which case I shall inform you about the next stage.

This is a one-time opportunity which is likely to expire at the end of the year.  Half of the funds dedicated to this loan are already gone.

I hope this will stimulate you all to stimulate the economy and create jobs and wealth.

Thank you,

More Inaccurate Reports for State Agencies and Background Checks

Fri, October 23rd, 2009 - 6:35 am - By Gordon Basichis

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A state audit of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) found that the agency that runs background checks on school teachers and potential gun buyers often misses information regarding criminal convictions.   The lack of information may be due to a longstanding debate about who is responsible for returning criminal records.   The disagreement sesm to be between the court clerks and the sheriff’s departments as to who returns the the disposition of criminal background checks to the TBI.

So to put it in layman’s terms, the TBI may have record there are criminal cases, but they have a tough time finding out if a case  resulted in conviction or if it was dismissed.    The problem of course is child molesters and convicted criminals would escape detection and allowed to either purchase guns or work in schools.   Not good on either account, since guns canlead to more crime and working in schools gives sex offenders even greater access to children.

In fairness, Tennessee is not the only state to fail to get its ducks ina row, regarding background checks.  It seems every other week you read about one state or another, or some municipal agency that has embarrassed itself with the way they handle their background checking program.   We hear repeatedly about criminals being hired or sex offenders slipping through the cracks.    Let’s hope in the futre that the municipal agencies will get it together and work in some coordinated effort to protect its citizens from criminal predators.

Check them out before you hire.  and then look over the results.

Picking Job References for Background Checks

Thu, October 22nd, 2009 - 5:11 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Job References or Professional References, as they are also known, have increasing become part of the preemployment screening program.    Job references are viable background checks when it comes to ascertaining your employment candidate’s skill sets and character.    Professional reference background checks are also a good way to help determine you job candidate’s managerial skills and his ability to deal with team building and clients.

The Professional Reference Background check can also assist in determining your candidate’s networking capability.  this is especially relevant for sales and marketing candidates as they are reliant on relationships to build and maintain their business.   Clients will work with good sales and marketing people no matter where they go.  They will at least keep the door open to listen to any pitches.  A good reference can provide insight to your employment candidate.   Given the tough economy, a new hire with existent relationships not only can bring can establish business quickly, but generally can generate new business leads as well.

Of course, the job candidate must choose his references wisely.   Not only will they reflect on his skill  ets and ability but on his judgment as well.

Lisa Vaas has posted an excellent article about selecting your references.    It is posted on  Marketing Ladder.   The article is entitled How to Choose Your Job References.  It is loaded with tips, and I suggest that employers as well as job candidates read the article for some insight into the best means of professional reference selection.

Check them out before you hire.

Tips for Conducting Education Verification Background Checks

Wed, October 21st, 2009 - 5:56 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Education Verification Background checks having increasingly become part of every recruiter’s preemployment screening program.  Why?  Some of it is the obvious, to qualify a job candidate for meeting the threshold requirements for the position.   Clearly, you want to be sure your employment candidate had at least the minimum skill sets for consideration.

But there is another factor.  More than a few employment candidates will lie about their education background.  They may embellish their employment responsibilities but will fib in claiming graduation status when they either went to the school for a number of semesters or never attended at all.   Yes, they just make up the school and say they went there, hoping the background checking company will not conduct a thorough education verification.   In this economic downturn, with jobs scarce and the recession causing so many layoffs, desperation is increasingly a factor as more candidates apply for fewer jobs.

Sometimes, the college or university may miss the education verification and you need to go back in with additional information.   If the employment candidate graduated some years back then the records may not be in the database, and the school registrar’s office has to do some researching.

At Corra Group we try to eliminate any obstacles at the outset.  We recommend that recruiters and human resources personnel keep these simple tips in mind when ordering education verification background checks.

1. Get the correct spelling of the candidate’s name.

2. When the candidate is female, sometime they forget that they graduated with their maiden name and not their married name.

3. With International students, sometimes they went to school under their former native name and then “Americanized”  it later.   If they forget to mention this, or if you forget to ask, it can delay the verification.

4.Of course you need to know the type of degree.  I.E.– B.S. or B.A.   But listing the major is also helpful.  When a candidate has a common name, you don’t want their degree confused with a graduate with a similar name.

5. Ask for the university campus where the employment candidate attended.  Not all colleges and universities, centralize their databases and knowing he exact campus can save time in getting the education verification completed.

6. Ask for the date school was started and the date school was completed.  Ask for the graduation date.  Sometimes students graduate sometime after they have completed the program.

7. With international education verification searches, you may need additional information.  With India Education Verification Searches, for example, the student should supply the roll number, seat number,  and registration number.  Any one or combination they remember is always helpful.

8.If the school can’t find the record at first, it doesn’t necessarily mean the job candidate is lying.   It is best to request from the student a  copy of his diploma.   The diploma copy can often clarify the mystery and assist the registrar’s office in finding the records.

9.  And remember, almost every school with require a consent form from its former students, before it can release records.  So make sure you get that up front.

10. Finally, sometimes the school will report that the student attended but they cannot verify or will not verify graduation.   Often this is because the student owes them money, and the school will not verify until they are paid.

This should be helpful in conducting education verification background checks.

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