In the fast-paced world of hiring, background checks serve as a vital tool for employers to uncover the hidden facets of potential employees’ lives. While most background checks reveal standard information such as education, employment history, and criminal records, there are instances when hiring managers stumble upon astonishing, perplexing, and downright outrageous details that leave them astounded. From outrageous crimes to unbelievable lies, these employers spill on the insane things they’ve encountered during a background check. All content has been edited for clarity purposes.
The Angry Arsonist
“I ran a sales team at my previous job. The Regional Vice President brought in a new hire candidate he was very enthusiastic about. ‘Karen,’ the candidate, was supposed to be a major asset to the company. The RVP worked with her previously and vouched for her work ethic. I met Karen and thought she was nice, but I certainly didn’t think she was the typical office employee. However, I tried to give my RVPs a lot of rope. I checked a few of Karen’s references and did income verification, which all checked out. Her background check was fine, too.
Fast forward to Karen’s first day, I immediately knew something was off. She was frantic, ran around the office barefoot, wore her glasses on the back of her head, and dressed like someone out of Little House on the Prairie. Essentially, Karen did not act like someone who had the potential to thrive in our office.
On her second day, our Vice President of Marketing walked into my office and asked, ‘So, what do you think of Karen?’
I smirked and responded, ‘Well, she seems a bit nutty. I’m trying to give her a chance, though.’
‘Have you Googled her name at all?’ the VP asked inquisitively.
‘No, but I can look her up now,’ I responded.
After I looked Karen up, I struck some of the best Google gold I had ever seen.
Long story short, Karen was in the middle of a nasty divorce. Her husband lived with a family friend, and she tried to burn down the family friend’s house in retaliation for letting him stay. Karen had been arrested for attempted arson, but this didn’t pop on the background check because it happened only a couple of weeks before her starting. In addition to the arrest, the husband was granted a restraining order. This was enough grounds to terminate her, but it got better.
Three evenings before her first day with our company, she violated her restraining order and broke into her husband’s car. She filled the car with ripped-up photos of them and several decapitated stuffed animals. Then, she doused his car in gasoline. She was arrested again and placed on house arrest with a GPS monitor. It turned out Karen removed the monitor to come to work, which yielded in yet another arrest. However, she wasn’t until after I terminated her employment.
Always investigate your future employees.”
The FBI Fraudster
“My work hired a new entry-level graphic designer. ‘Will,’ had talent and a decent portfolio, but there were some strange things about him right from the beginning.
For example, he would always come in wearing expensive suits, despite working in a jeans-and-t-shirt office and having a very low-paid position. We had no clue how he could afford his wardrobe, but it was none of our business. He was a designer, and he liked to look nice.
The weirdest thing was how Will adamantly refused to accept direct deposit for his paycheck. He wanted a physical check every other week. It was strange, but again, we ignored it. Designers were eccentric sometimes.
So, one evening we were all working late on a project together. We had some bottles of wine around and some pizzas to snack on. Everyone worked miserably long hours, but we were a good team and had a good time.
Suddenly, Will looked up franticaly from his computer, slammed it shut, and ran as fast as he could out the door. When I glanced at him, he looked pale as a ghost. Not a word to any of us, he just dashed out. We all looked at each other, confused. Then, we tried to call Will, but we never got an answer. We finished up the project and went home still wondering what happened.
The next day, Will didn’t come to work. He didn’t come in the next day, either. We tried calling his emergency contact, but we didn’t get a response.
So we Googled him, and we found an FBI press release. It turned out that Will had been arrested about 500 miles from our office a few hours after he ran out. I guess he got a tip about how the FBI was onto him, so he decided to make a run for it.
It turned out Will had been defrauding payroll companies for years, to the tune of about $1,000,000. This explained why he didn’t want direct deposit for his paycheck. Will didn’t know how we processed our physical checks through the same payroll company as our direct deposit, and they reported his new address to the FBI.
The Crummy Candidate
“Years ago, I was hiring for late night shifts at my job. These shifts ended around two or three in the morning. The prospective candidate was willing to work during any hours, and she was looking to work about 25 hours per week. Essentially, the candidate was everything the company was looking for.
While speaking on the phone, the candidate mentioned, ‘I have been grieving my little boy. He passed two weeks ago, and I need something to occupy my time.’
The candidate finished her one day of computer training and stopped showing up. Later in the week, she sent me an email stating she, ‘wasn’t ready to come back to work like she’d thought,’ which was fine.
My assistant manager and I decided to look her up, only to find out the candidate had multiple GoFundMe pages set up for her sob story. Each page had different amounts of time the supposed child had been dead for. Her Facebook page was full of selfies and party photos.
She ended up asking for the job back a few months later and we shot her down pretty quick. We never figured out if she was lying, but we could only assume she was.”
The Careless Carjacker
“At my old job, I was an intern responsible for checking references and running backgrounds at our company. This happened during my first week when I was just learning how to go about things.
My team was looking at hiring a potential candidate for a job opening. This guy did great in the interview, so I got the go-ahead to run a background check and call his references. Something popped up in his background check, so I had to call the police station to obtain a copy of the police report. Usually, we’d be able to access the police report ourselves. However, the incident was so recent, the report hadn’t been released.
I called the police station, gave them the candidate’s name, and let them know what I was calling for. After doing so, whoever I was talking to needed to learn how to go about obtaining the information on her end. She put me on a brief hold, then took a call back number and promised to call me back with some information.
Well, it was a good thing neither of us knew what to do because I received a call from the police department less than an hour later.
An officer told me, ‘I’m not supposed to be doing this, but I just wanted to let you know that the interview guy was arrested for carjacking a woman. The woman works at your company.’
The officer saw the company name and the candidate’s name and warned us. I was so grateful we figured it out before hiring the guy.”