Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity
By: CJ Cassidy

Altenburg, MO -H

ow would you feel if a background check on you showed a criminal history
,
when you don't have one?

A
n
A
ltenburg woman says that's what happened to her
,
and now she's struggling to clear her name and reputation.

A

spokesperson with the
G
eorgia based company that made the mistake
,
says it happens on average to one out of every one hundred people.

S
till that's scary
,
because the same company provides information on you and me
,
to employers, landlords, marketing companies and about 35
US
government agencies.

I
n
Marie B
rown's case the mistake kept her from volunteering for a good cause.

"E
verybody has to have a background check done on any of the volunteers
,
because
they're go
ing to
be around kids
," Brown says.

S
o
she
went through one so she could volunteer with her granddaughter's 4
-H
C
lub.
W
hen that check revealed a criminal record, she was stunned!

"U

nder
M
arie
B
rown with my birth date
I
have an address in
G
reenville
, N
orth
C
arolina in the
P
itt
S
uperior
D
istrict
C
ourt a misdemeanor simple worthless check and guilty
. And I thought god,
these people don't do their work
," Brown says.

B
rown immediately called
N
orth
C
arolina authorities to verify no one stole her identity.

T

urns out it was a case of mistaken identity
.

T

he company that ran the check
, C
hoice
P
oint
,
did not use
B
rown's social security number
,
and ended up with someone else's information.

"T

his could have been
a
child molest
er
this could have been anything
," Brown says.

T
his isn't the first time
C
hoice
P
oint has had problems with personal information.

L
ast year the company admitted a group of organized criminals may have had access to personal records of more than 140
,000
people.

S
o what do you do if this happens to you?

C
ape
G
irardeau
C
ounty
P
rosecuting
A
ttorney
M
orley
S
wingle offers this advice
:

"A

private lawyer could look into filing a civil suit against the company listing you falsely and incorrectly as having a criminal record
," Swingle says.

T
he
C
hoice
P
oint spokesperson tells me he regrets the problems
B
rown's faced
.

H
e says
C
hoice
P
oint is obligated to reinvestigate any background check that's disputed within thirty days.

I
f you want to make sure the information the company has on you
,
if any
,
is correct
click on the ChoicePoint link
,
and we'll show you how
.