Maiden Names, Nicknames and AKA’s…. OH MY!

When ordering an employment background check from an Employment Screening Company, it is important to order it using the correct name of the applicant you are wanting the criminal report on.

If you believe that criminal names are stored under a person’s social security number, you have been misled. This is a common misconception that many people do not realize when submitting background check requests. In fact, the criminals are the ones who know all the secrets and tricks to prevent hiring managers from finding their criminal history. Other names found on a social security trace could be AKA’s/maiden names/legal name changes/nicknames/common misspellings.

Alias names are extremely important in the criminal world. Criminal records are sorted by name and date of birth. Very rarely will you see a criminal record with an identifier such as a social security number. Let’s take our made up friend, “Candy”, for instance. If she was convicted under the name Candy Cane and then she marries, her name now changes to Candy Barr. If records are searched under Candy Barr, past criminal records will be missed. There are many ways employers can choose to have records searched: current name only, all names provided (current, maiden, and other names), or all names provided on social trace. Criminal history is usually entered under a person’s actual name. If you have a job applicant who fills out a background request as “Katy” but her legal name is Katherine, chances are, criminal records will be missed unless all names are included on the criminal request.

Misspellings are another way criminals will get around potential employers finding out their criminal history. If a person’s real name is Jerry, she might discreetly or “accidentally” spell her name on the consent as Jerri. Something to stress is always match up the name that the job candidate provides on their application with a legal form of identification, and check for misspellings with their name as well as date of birth.

AKA’s are also important when verifying information such as a degree or dates of employment. Most employers require applicants to have a degree, and it’s important to verify that applicants are supplying the correct name that they received the degree in, or the company they worked for at that time.

If at any time, you have questions or concerns about the current method you are using, please feel free to contact a MBI representative at 866-275-4624. One of our friendly support team members will be happy to assist you and go over your current structure and how to make the most of your background checks.

Written by M. Moyers