LEE COUNTY, Fla.-- Call for Action uncovers a problem that could potentially be keeping you from getting a job: your background check.
Michael Pudlin tells WINK News that he blamed the economy when he couldn't get a call back for an interview; this is until he saw his background check.
"He had told me had he not met me at the initial interview, that he probably would have taken my application and thrown it in the garbage."
Pudlin discovered the problem at a local job fair after interviewing in person with his current employer. Pudlin tells WINK when he saw his background check it, "kind of made a little sense why I hadn't heard back."
The background check showed Pudlin's real background but also the background for the alias, Michael Williams. Under that alias, the pictures of six different sex offenders and one other man convicted of murder showed up. All included under Pudlin's background check.
Pudlin's current employer said it was clear that none of the pictures in the background check matched Michael, but that Michael was lucky he had applied in person instead of online.
"He would have taken my application not knowing what I look like and thought possibly the seven or eight criminals that are on there were aliases of mine not knowing which of the photos was actually mine and probably just put it in the shredder," Pudlin explains.
Stacey Payne from the Lee County Sheriff's Economic Fraud Unit says thieves don't just steal your identity to steal your money; they also want your spotless record.
"There are enough people looking for work that we need to take every chance we can to look and make sure all the information out there really belongs to us."
And that starts with your credit report.
Michael says the first sign of a problem showed up on his credit report ten years ago when a guy named Michael Williams bought a house using Pudlin's social security number. But because that person bought a piece of property and paid it off, it was actually helping Pudlin's credit report and he decided to do nothing about it. When other people started to use the alias of Michael Williams, however, it started showing up on Pudlin's background check.
To make sure the same problem doesn't happen to you, pull your credit report annually and make sure all the information on the report is correct. Also, when filling out applications online, make sure you request a copy of your background check.