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 Slate.com, the most common first and last name combinations in the United States are:
- James Smith (38,313 people)
- Michael Smith (34,810 people)
- Robert Smith (34,269 people)
- Maria Garcia (32,092 people)
- David Smith (31,294 people)
- Maria Rodriguez (30,507 people)
- Mary Smith (28,692 people)
- Maria Martinez (26,956 people)
- 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 consultation to learn your rights.