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Is someone with the same name creating problems with your background check? You have rights under the FCRA.

Posted by Andrew Weiner | Nov 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

When a background reporting company runs a background check, it typically takes an individual's identifying information such as first name, middle name, last name, birthdate, social security number or other information, and tries to match that information to a court record.

Problems often arise when multiple people have the same name and other identifying information.  According to, the most common first and last name combinations in the United States are:

  1. James Smith (38,313 people)
  2. Michael Smith (34,810 people)
  3. Robert Smith (34,269 people)
  4. Maria Garcia (32,092 people)
  5. David Smith (31,294 people)
  6. Maria Rodriguez (30,507 people)
  7. Mary Smith (28,692 people)
  8. Maria Martinez (26,956 people)
  9. James Johnson (26,850 people)

With these figures, it is not surprising that background check companies sometimes match people to other people's court records.  When this happens, and an individual is damaged by the mismatch (for example, by losing a job because of a background check that includes a criminal record that does not belong to them), the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows individuals to assert claims against the background check company.

If you've been denied a job or damaged in another way because a background check company included someone else's information in your background check, please contact the FCRA attorneys at The Weiner Law Firm LLC for a free consultation to learn your rights.

About the Author

Andrew Weiner

Andrew Weiner has represented and counseled clients in numerous areas of employment law, including race, gender, national origin, age, and disability discrimination claims, wage and hour disputes, retaliation and harassment claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (background report) claims, common law tort claims, the development and implementation of employment contracts, employee handbooks, personnel policies, reductions-in-force, independent contractor agreements and compliance with Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other federal, state and local employment statutes. Andrew also has negotiated severance agreements, employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and confidentiality agreements.


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