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The iPhone has spawned several new apps over the past couple of months that will not only pique voyeuristic interest but also provide “background screening results” on just about anyone.

BeenVerified.com recently released an app promising criminal, personal and contact information on anybody in the world for free.

Marketed more tongue-in-cheek, Intelius’ ‘Date Check’ lets you perform basic background checks on potential mates, and offers up several types of searches. There’s the ‘Sleaze Detector’ that searches for a criminal background, ‘Net Worth’ that provides details about a person’s assets including property, and ‘Interests’ with information from social networking sites. Don’t forget about PeopleFinders Network’s ‘Are They Really Single?’ and ‘Stud or Dud.’

While on the surface some of these apps sound intriguing, even downright humorous…their results should not be taken lightly. Background checks conducted in this automated fashion can be incomplete, and in many instances, downright incorrect. Without a reputable background screening company standing behind each background check, individuals could be making critical decisions based on inaccurate data.

According to Josh Levy, BeenVerified.com’s CEO, “Large companies have been using background checks to protect their businesses for years. Our service empowers anyone to protect their lives and the lives of their families in the same way.”

Greg Dubecky, General Manager of Corporate Screening disagrees. “Statements like this are extremely misleading for consumers who have not taken the time to understand the amount of effort and resources that go into a sound criminal background check,” says Dubecky. “When people are led to believe that a free search can provide the same results as a professional background check, they’ll develop a false sense of security.”

Background check apps and “free” online screening services (the ‘Date Check’ app is free but the data is not) are causing people to embark on their own Salem witch hunts, making false assumptions about their neighbors, dates and employees based on incomplete information.

What’s more, sites like BeenVerified.com disclaim on their site that their information should not be used for employment screening because their reporting practices do not comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. So, the end result is relatively useless data.

Questions? Don’t fall for false promises! Please contact Corporate Screening Support at 800-229-8606 and select option 3, or contact your Account Representative.