Friday, 12 July 2013

5 Things CrimShield CEO David Pickron Wants Every Business Owner and Executive to Know About Instant Background Checks

Do you think your business and customers are protected from violent offenders and problem employees because you use routine "instant" background checks for employees and contractors? Think again. Here are five things CrimShield CEO David Pickron wants you to know about the system you are using:

1. They aren't comprehensive enough. When you submit an instant background check, all you're doing is comparing the information the applicant gave against a set of outdated databases. If everything doesn't match exactly, you might not get the full picture of their personal history. Think of it this way: If you search for a file on your computer without knowing the exact name you saved it under, or the date it was created, your results won’t be perfect. Instant background checks work the same way.

2. Even the FBI doesn't trust them. Although lots of instant background check companies point to the FBI's database as the "gold standard" that they use, the reality is that even federal agents don't trust them. The FBI publicly admits that many records are missing data, and that lots of dangerous criminals and mentally ill individuals are missing from its database altogether.

3. Criminals know how to get around them. Even in cases where public data is available on those with criminal histories, standard background checks are shockingly easy to fool or get around. Because of the "close-match" system that we've already outlined, all an applicant has to do is change a few small details to ensure that their report comes back as "clean."

4. A human element is needed to verify data and fill in gaps. Closing these loopholes isn't something you can do with a simple piece of software and a few dollars. That's why CrimShield uses real-life agents and investigators to look into each applicant and ensure that they are who they say they are. Additionally, we check into gaps in residency, to ensure that potential employees aren't hiding things you should know about.

5. With privacy and safety being front-page news, the stakes couldn't be higher. We feel sure that it's only a matter of time before a high-profile lawsuit will bring the shortcomings of instant background checks to light. Do you really want your customers to find out that you've been employing dangerous criminals, possibly even in their homes, because you didn't go far enough to verify identities and public records?

David Pickron says the facts are clear – "if you are relying on instant background checks to keep criminals and dangerous individuals out of your company, then you are living with a false sense of security." Talk to a member of the CrimShield team today and see how easy it is to start using a common-sense approach to effectively screen applicants who want to work for your business.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Renting to criminals is risky business...


Dictionary definition: A convicted criminal who reoffends
Property Management definition: Mr. Trouble who is looking for a place to rent.

No one would knowingly rent a space to a registered sex offender... right? All of the following notification(s) to your residents by law enforcement would be difficult to explain.  It may be noble for  people to feel that once a “debt to society” has been paid, the offending criminal deserves a second chance. While this may be true in many cases, here are some startling facts...

According to the U.S. Department of Justice a criminal who has done time has the following recidivism rate within the first 3 years.

  • Overall - 2/3rds of these convicts will reoffend
  • Some examples of the likely offenses
    • Auto theft 79%
    • Sale of stolen goods 77%
    • Burglary/Robbery 74%
    • Drugs 67%

Discovering a person’s criminal history and making the decision to deny their rental application should be easy.  However, if you use a database screening program you may receive a report that gives you a list of people with names like your applicant (even the exact name).  The report will state “one of these MAY be your applicant”.  There simply is not enough information in these reports to make the right decision. If you are uncertain if one of those listed in the report is your applicant and you rent to a person who does have a record you may be moving a great deal of trouble into your community. Choosing whether or not to rent to the applicant is like playing Russian Roulette and will likely expose your company to a future lawsuit.

When you use an investigative company like ISC Screening & Consulting you will know for certain that the person you let move into your community does not have a criminal history.  ISC uses licensed private investigators to conduct background checks and will tell you straight up if your applicant has a criminal history.

Some things to consider:

  • Criminals don’t buy they rent.
  • The safety of your residents and staff should be your primary concern.
  • Just as good people bring their friends, bad people bring their friends.
  • Once a community starts renting to less-desirables, your bad reputation follows and your brand declines. 
  • Your community represents sizable financial investment let us help you protect this investment.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

How can CrimShield's Crime Free Circle help your business?

See what CrimShield President David Pickron has to say about hiring crime-free certified employees. Watch this simple video to learn more about crime-free hiring and how to keep your staff and your customers safe from criminal activity in the workplace and out in the field. The Crime Free Circle is a great source for finding honest service companies and contractors. Other directories are just that, "directories." Who they are is usually more important than what they do. Customers deserve to know who is in and around their home and family. Give your business the competitive edge of crime-free certified employees.

Make the crime-free commitment and get your company listed on:

Monday, 1 February 2010

The Proven Secrets that Help Contracting Companies Build Their Business in this Stressful Economy (or Anytime).

So, you want to build your business, but don’t know how? Is it too costly? What do you think is the most important thing on the minds of a homeowner, apartment dweller or business owner when they hire a company to install their cable service, internet service, have their water softener serviced or have their air-conditioning system serviced? You would be wrong if you thought it was the work being done competently and at a fair price. That is the second most important concern. The most important thing to a customer is, “how do I know I can trust the guy coming into my home will not won’t hurt my family or steal from my home?’

So, as a business owner, how do you take care of the very human concern? Here is the simple secret! You need to find a company where you can be reasonably assured it can and does perform a criminal investigation, (and not simply a criminal background check or search), that uses only private investigators to do the investigation. Further, you should make sure the investigation performed by those private investigators includes researching actual court records from every federal, state and county court, right where the convictions take place. This means that the investigation company you hire actually goes directly to those courts to obtain records and that the investigators do not rely on some type of internal database or on an instant search. When you are looking for the criminal background on an applicant, an investigation must be made into where the individual actually went before the judge. That is not on the internet, it is not in a data base and it is not over the phone. It must be obtained by that investigator straight from the court.

The second simple is that you need to make sure that the company you hire uses a verifiable tracking system for every service tech that goes into a customer’s home or business and that the service tech must wear a photo identification badge with your logo on it. The investigative company you hire must also have a system where the customer can actually see the service tech’s face and lack of criminal history found, before he shows up to the home or office. These features create good faith and a sense of security for the customer. With this kind of a system creates positive word of mouth to spreads quickly to happy customer’s friends and family. Now you have completely calmed the fears of the customer regarding your service tech coming into their home. In fact, that customer is going to be excited about the caliber of the person you are sending to their home to do the work. Remember, the customer has the right to expect a crime free service technician.

How do these simple secrets help you make money? With these secrets you are in a superior competitive position. You have Crime Free Certified service techs, whether they are employees or sub-contractors. You let your perspective clients know that you demand the best and you will get the best. Market the program in every one of your letters, invoices, on your websites, yellow pages, associations, advertisements and marketing programs explaining that all of your service techs are Crime Free certified. With these tools you blow all of the competition out of the water. It should only cost between $50-100 dollars to get a proper criminal background investigation. As the Contractor you get the advantages of a cleaned up work force, you have less theft, less absences and get all of the benefits of lower liability that crime free employees and sub-contractors bring. You win in every way.

About The Author:

J. Denton (Denny) Dobbins is Nationally and Internationally recognized as the world’s leader in Premises Liability Protection and has been featured across North America sharing the stage with Political Leaders, Police Celebrities, Administrators and Business Leaders. Since 1978, Denny has been involved with the detection and deterrence of Criminal Activity in properties and employment of all types.


A major retail provider hires an outside contractor to install a particular device in a home. The contractor hires a sub-contractor as an independent contractor and sends that person to the home to do the actual installation. During the installation the sub-contractor had time to “case out” the home. The sub-contractor learned of the personal property and where it was located. The sub-contractor also learned about the individuals who live in the home and about their comings and goings. Three (3) days after a proper installation was performed the sub-contractor installer came back to the home with one of his buddies who was recently released from prison and brutally raped and murdered the woman resident, and took her credits cards as well.

The question arises as to legal responsibility for the rape, death and theft. Is the retailer responsible for damages for hiring the contractor? Is the contractor responsible for the damages for hiring the sub-contractor? Is the sub-contractor responsible for damages for performing the acts of violence? Obviously, the sub-contractor is has liability. All parties are likely to be sued. Generally, in a situation like this, the courts will look to whether the sub-contractor was in the “scope of responsibility” when the assault, death and theft took place. In this situation it would seem that the retailer and contractor would have no responsibility, since the damages occurred the three days outside of the scope of responsibility. However, pursuant to the reasoning in the recent Texas Supreme Court case involving Kirby Vacuums, the general rule has been turned upside down. The issue goes to the fact that but for the well known name of the retailer and the work that had to be preformed for the retailer’s customer, the sub-contractor would have never been in the customer’s home in the first place. The name of the retailer itself created a sense of security that gave the perspective customer confidence to let the representative in the home. Therefore the damages are to a great degree a result of the trusted name of the retailer. Since the retailer’s name has been branded to instill trust, then to a great extent the retailer cannot escape liability for its agent, regardless that they were a contractor, a contractor’s employee, a sub-contractor, an independent contractor or some other type of agent of the retailer. Hence the question goes back to one of negligent hiring. Here are the questions the retailer must properly answer and implement to build a wall of liability protection between its agents and its customers:

  • Did the retailer perform a criminal background investigation on the contractor?
  • Did the retailer require the contractor to perform a criminal background investigation on its employee, sub-contractor, independent contractor or agent who did the work?
  • Does the retailer have a system in place to the best of the retailer’s ability to track the service tech who ultimately performed the service work?
  • Do the retailer and contractor have a system in place to notify the customer as to who is going to be doing the work and to provide the customer a system to verify that service tech’s criminal background by quick internet access?
  • Does the retailer, through its system of tracking and verification, educate the customer to look for the identification badge and photograph of that same service tech before allowing that service tech to enter the home?

This is a simple, but necessary, system. All retailers who send contractors and/or contractor employees, sub-contractors, independent contractors and/or agents into homes of their customers, must be aware of their responsibilities to perform criminal background investigations on the individuals going into their customer’s homes. A simple background check or search, with or without a system of tracking in place, or without a verification system and customer education in place, will not protect the retailer from liability.

Only in this way can retailers build up a wall of liability protection between their contractors, their contractor’s employees and their customers. Furthermore, retailers utilizing such an integrated liability protection system can build greater peace of mind by meeting the standards of doing the best they reasonable can to protect their customer from individuals who may have propensities to cause harm or damage.

About The Author:

J. Denton (Denny) Dobbins is Nationally and Internationally recognized as the world’s leader in Premises Liability Protection and has been featured across North America sharing the stage with Political Leaders, Police Celebrities, Administrators and Business Leaders. Since 1978, Denny has been involved with the detection and deterrence of Criminal Activity in properties and employment of all types.


Old habits are hard to break, and nowhere is this more true than in the criminal background screening industry? With many screening companies, when you ask for a criminal background you get their version of what they think “criminal background” means. You really don’t know what you are getting. You assume they did what they were supposed to do for your liability protection. After all, that is what you get a criminal background on an applicant for, right? You would be surprised. Technology has completely changed what was the criminal background check or search of only a few years ago. Any liability protection from a background check or search is a thing of the past. If an employer wants to be protected with a wall of liability protection between itself, its employees, its contractors and its customers, it must do much more than a simple old fashion background check or screen.

Even when an employer learns about what it needs to protect itself from liability for negligent hiring, there is a tendency to fall back to old habits and simply do a simple background check or search as in the old days. The reasons why? 1) The cost. It is much less expensive to perform a simple background check or search rather than a real criminal background investigation. Many times employers are just going through the motions or trying to comply to the least possible degree. Typically a background check will cost anywhere from $5.00-20.00. A background search may cost between $15.00-30.00. A real criminal background investigation will cost between $50.00-100.00, or more, depending on the level of investigation and the number of locations where the private investigators perform research. 2) “I’ve always done a background check or search; I thought that was an investigation.” If you thought so, you were wrong. A background check or search is typically performed by using information that may be out of date, inaccurate and/or incomplete. Many employers simply think, “If doing a background investigation as opposed to background criminal check or search is so important then there should be a lot of information about it.” Are you kidding? The companies that sell you the criminal background check or search data information want to do as little work as possible for the most profit possible. Do you think they’re going to give away their profit secrets? That’s like the masked magician on T.V. who gives away the secrets of the professional magician’s illusions. The mainstream magicians aren’t going to give their secrets away. That is how they make money. If you only purchase a check or search it is an illusion as well. The real magic is in the depth of the investigation.

A screening company may have little to no money invested in actually performing a criminal background check or search. They’re certainly not going to tell you that. A real criminal background investigation requires a live private investigator to actually research federal, state and county courts at their source. It requires the actual review of the disposition records once a true identity is verified regarding the applicant. Is it any wonder then why an instant internet check or an instant criminal phone check or screen is so cheap? You know in your heart that you pretty much get what you pay for. There is no magic there and the secrets are exposed. With almost zero investment anyone can start a screening company.

Knowing the truth about screening companies you should demand a real criminal background investigation. You need to do, “all that you reasonably can do,” to protect yourself from liability for criminal acts of employees, contractors, sub-contractors, independent contractors and any agent that represents your company. Just like anything else you have ever done, as technology advances, education is required to help you know what to implement and how to implement it to avoid liability for the acts of your agents.

It takes integrity and leadership to do things right. Doing things right protects you because you are trying to protect your customer and your employees. That is what a jury will see. Believe me, as a trial attorney, when you get in front of a jury and the plaintiff’s attorney explains what you could have and should have done, but did not do because you either did not know about it, or because of the cost involved, a jury is going to eat you alive. On the other hand, when a jury learns that you did everything you reasonably could have done because you chose to protect your customers and employees, the jury will be impressed with you, if your case even gets that far. Usually, when attorneys see that you did all that you could do based on the available technology and reasonableness of cost, that case is usually going to die.

Employers, it’s up to you to be on top of technology and to lead your company in a way that will protect it from law suits by protecting your customers and employees with a real criminal background investigation. Do it right the first time.

About The Author:

J. Denton (Denny) Dobbins is Nationally and Internationally recognized as the world’s leader in Premises Liability Protection and has been featured across North America sharing the stage with Political Leaders, Police Celebrities, Administrators and Business Leaders. Since 1978, Denny has been involved with the detection and deterrence of Criminal Activity in properties and employment of all types.


A retailer hires a contractor, who then hires a sub-contractor, independent contractor or agent to service or install something for the retailer’s customer. Who is going to be liable for damages caused by that contractor, contractor’s employee, independent contractor or contractor’s agent? Everyone gets sued to start with, and the litigation process begins; interrogatories, depositions, experts and money going down a black hole. How does the retailer protect itself from the negligent and criminal acts of its contractor, sub-contractor, independent contractor or other agents that service its customers?

Here are the keys to limiting your liability as a retailer:

1) Require any person who is representing your company, no matter how far down the chain, to have a criminal background investigation preformed by a private investigator that obtains information directly from federal, state, and county courts;

2) Implement a tracking system in place for anyone that actually goes into the home or business of a customer for installation or service;

3) Mandate that all service techs have undergone proper criminal investigation;

4) Implement a notification system for the customer as to when the service tech will be at the home or office;

5) Provide the customer a photo showing what the service tech looks like prior to the appointment;

6) Provide the service tech a photo id badge that the service tech must openly wear to the appointment;

7) Provide the customer with information about what to look for when the service tech arrives at the home or office;

8) Provide the customer a simple computer verification system that proves that no criminal history has been found on service tech;

9) Do not use or allow your contractors to use instant background services to perform a background investigation, rather only through private investigators;

10) Do not use any screening company that only uses its own data sources, or only information that it buys from other companies, or performs a simple check or search. The cost of a real investigation with real-time, accurate, and relevant information should cost between $50.00-$100.00.

Only when you apply these principles in your screening and management processes will you effectively be able to limit or avoid liability and place it where it belongs.

About The Author:

J. Denton (Denny) Dobbins is Nationally and Internationally recognized as the world’s leader in Premises Liability Protection and has been featured across North America sharing the stage with Political Leaders, Police Celebrities, Administrators and Business Leaders. Since 1978, Denny has been involved with the detection and deterrence of Criminal Activity in properties and employment of all types.