Exactly how well do you know the people that you live near? Thats why you should always do free background checks before starting working with someone. Have you ever wondered why it always seems to be ordinary people that you would never expect and yet they can commit such terrible crimes. Rape, kidnapping, murder… The list of crimes goes on and on and the most frightening part of it all is that often even the people closest to the criminals never suspect a thing. How can you protect yourself against people with criminal records if you don’t know who they are?
Kate and John had been looking for someone to do some odd jobs on their property for some time so when they saw someone working on their neighbors house, Kate took the time to go and talk to him. His name was Jim and he came across as being very approachable. Kate liked him a lot so she asked him to come over and meet John that evening. John was equally impressed with Jim and they asked him to do some small jobs on their property.
Jim was good, or so they thought. He started the job when he said that he would, did reasonable quality work and kept things close to the budget. Jim was so good that John and Kate gave him quite a few jobs to do which lasted for several months. He became almost a part of the family. They gave him a set of keys to make it easier for him to work and they even invited him to dinner once. Jim had gained their trust big time and everyone was happy.
The work took a little longer than expected as it so often does but at the end of 3 months John made a final inspection of the work and paid Jim in full. They paid cash because Jim asked for it. I’m not sure why workers in the building trade like to be paid in cash but that’s another story.
It was only after Jim had gone that the troubles started
Some time after Jim had moved on to other jobs and they had lost touch with where he was, Kate noticed that there were some odd things going on with her credit card. She was in the habit of just paying the bill or part of it without even looking at the statement but this time something stood out.
Kate noticed a small item on the statement. It was more the date that stood out than the actual purchase itself because she remembered being at a wedding all that day and she had forgotten to take her card with her. She could not possibly have made that purchase. She then hunted out her bills for the past few months and noticed quite a few items that she had no recollection of. Of course some of the transactions were real, she just couldn’t remember buying the stuff, but a lot of it was definitely nothing to do with her. When she added all the small bogus transactions up it came to a surprisingly large amount.
John was horrified by this and set about checking his own statements only to find the same pattern of unexplained transactions. Then they started to think about some things that they thought they had mislaid around the house – Kate’s cell phone and some jewelry that she didn’t wear very often. John had lost his PDA and a few power tools that hardly ever left his workshop. Had all these items been stolen?
This doesn’t have to happen to you
This is a fictitious story designed to illustrate a very real problem that does happen only too often. Kate and John could have avoided the problems that they now have trying to recover their money and property by doing a simple criminal records search. Jim had a criminal record and Kate and John were not his first victims. Nothing serious and he had served his time but he was an habitual thief. Something that they might have spotted from his record.