Running an international background check has its own unique sets of challenges that are different from running a local background check. Developing countries may not have computer records of criminal and civil history, so companies that claim to run comprehensive international background checks often shortchange their customers. There are several ways to run an international background check, but it can take quite a bit of effort and time to hire someone with the right qualifications.

Step 1.

Hire a qualified database-search company to perform the international background check. Contact the embassy of the person's nation in your country to find out if its government has public criminal records. If it does not, do not hire a database-search company that claims to be able to search criminal records. If the person you wish to perform a background check on is a potential employee, ask them to bring in criminal records to you personally. In the case that the nation's government does have computerized public records, hiring a database-search company makes the search process quicker than having the potential employee bringing in the records himself.

Step 2.

Hire a reputable private investigation firm that works in the country of the person being investigated. One example of such a firm is Wymoo International, which uses field investigators instead of databases. Check for signs of verification on the investigator's website by verification companies such as TrustE, McAfee and the Better Business Bureau. Some firms such as Background Check International assure clients of their reliability by showcasing government organizations and big corporation as past clients.

Step 3.

Employ a private investigator directly. This method works well in background checks for dating and romance fraud, as well as missing persons searches. Since investigators can scam foreigners out of money, hire a PI located in the country of investigation, but who works through a company headquartered in your own country. If such a PI is not available, screen each investigation service carefully. Look on the company website for contact information, a real office address, professional website design, acceptance of multiple payment methods, and seals of approval such as TrustE or McAfee symbols.

Step 4.

Contact the country's embassy of the person you are performing the background check when trying to hire a private investigator. Ask the embassy which government department to contact for verifying an investigator's license to practice. Follow the embassy's instructions and contact the appropriate government office, if the embassy does not find the information for you. Most importantly, call the PI and ask about education and work experience, as well as a few details about the particular case you want them to investigate. Skip an investigator who will not tell you anything about their methods or capabilities.


Going with the cheapest service available usually means hiring a phony or unqualified investigator.