Way back in 1995, Hollywood explored the terror that is identity theft in the movie “The Net.” Sandra Bullock starred as a woman who had her life stolen, and to be honest, in the early nineties, the premise was part sci-fi and part thriller.

Today, it’s an all too real occurrence, and people are having their identities stolen every day. Just two years ago, Hollywood tackled the topic again, but this time, instead of farfetched and outlandish, it was given a comic treatment in Identity Thief.

The fact is that it’s easier than ever for people with dubious motives to steal identities for a variety of reasons, and it’s far from unheard of in companies that don’t conduct proper due diligence.

The Dangers of Identity Theft

Generally speaking, identity theft is a danger to everyone. Faceless people on the internet can steal your identity, apply for credit in your name, commit crimes that you’re blamed for, and much more.

In a corporate setting, it’s far more likely that people will assume the identity of a more qualified person, or an anonymous one, for a variety of reasons. In the case of the former, they may end up in positions that they are unqualified for, and in the latter, you may have unwittingly hired someone with a criminal record to work in a key position. Neither scenario is ideal, and both can be dangerous.

Imagine, for a moment, that a hospital hired what they thought was a highly qualified doctor, only to later discover they were someone else entirely. Not only would the patients be at risk, but the risk of lawsuits against the hospital would be through the roof!

Imagine a key employee for a major competitor applied for a position at your company using an assumed name. During their time at your company, they would be able to pass all sorts of information to your competitors, putting your business survival at risk.

Imagine that you hire an employee who applies using a false name, and that they have key holder rights. There’s not much stopping them from clearing out your offices or warehouse. Can you picture arriving in the morning to an empty building, only to realize that you have no idea who the culprit actually is?

Simply put, you no longer simply need to check references. You also need to make sure that the people you hire are actually who they say you are, or you are opening a large, dangerous and expensive can of worms.

Verify Identity, Then Hire

The risks of hiring unverified employees are enormous and varied, and there’s really no good reason not to conduct identity verification at the same time as other due diligence services. A few simple checks can mean the difference between huge losses, financial otherwise, and the peace of mind of knowing that you’re sure who is in your building.

A small cost and a little extra time in the hiring process is all it takes to run a background check and be sure that the person you’re hiring is who they say they are, and avoid all the nightmare scenarios out there. Because even if Hollywood thinks identity theft is comedy these days, it’s still serious when it’s your business at stake.

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