Negative Effects of False Advertising: Criminal Background Checks

Background Screening | January 7, 2020

Here’s one fact we can all agree on: false and misleading advertising is illegal and unethical.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, types of false advertising include untruthful or misleading claims about company products or practices promoted on:

But did you know false advertisement cases even include misleading background check claims?

Unfortunately, this type of false advertising is a very real threat to consumer safety. Not to mention, the action also goes against U.S. Code.

In this article, we will explain:

Keep reading to learn why disclosure of criminal background check for employment is important for public safety.

False Advertising Examples 2018: Criminal Background Check

In 2018, an in-home repair organization received major backfire for the promotion of misleading information on its website. 

According to California News Wire Services, the San Francisco District Attorney has filed a civil lawsuit against this prominent nationwide in-home repair organization for falsely advertising background checks performed on its service providers and contractors. 

But why?

#1 Reason for False Advertising Lawsuit 

Simply put, the complaint states that consumers can be misled to believe that all workers, service providers, and contractors that may enter their homes have undergone thorough background checks. 

However, this is not the case. The company at fault clearly states on their website that they perform background checks on the “principal/owner or relevant manager of all Certified Service Providers.” 

Nevertheless, in other statements and collateral, the company implies that everyone entering a consumer’s home has been properly background screened. 

This has caused the San Francisco District Attorney to flag the in-home repair organization for false advertising.

Business owner distressed over false background checks

Negative Effects of False Advertising Background Checks

According to the San Francisco District Attorney, these statements are likely to deceive consumers into believing that the individuals coming to their homes have undergone a criminal background check.

As stated by District Attorney George Gascon, “We embrace innovative businesses, but it is imperative that consumers are not misled.”

Here’s the bottom line…

“It is a matter of public safety that consumers are provided accurate information, especially when they are deciding whom to let into their homes,” Gascon added. 

And this is where businesses run into trouble. Even when companies do not advertise their background screen individuals, it is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. 

In fact, according to a 2011 study completed by MindSpot Inc®, over 83% of consumers believe that when companies send service personnel into their homes, they have already undergone a criminal background screen.

So what is the solution to this problem?

Establish Verified Background Checks 

The solution is simple: require verified background checks

Before companies hire new contractors, they should require all individuals who plan to enter or access a consumer’s property to undergo contractor screening

Furthermore, if a company plans to advertise that its service performs background screens on employees or contractors, then they must ensure that all statements are in alignment with the company’s policy.

Protect Your Assets with PlusOne Solutions

It all boils down to this: false and misleading advertising is illegal and unethical. 

Not to mention, consumer safety is at risk! And no one wants their company to be at fault for a potentially avoidable mishap. 

That’s why PlusOne Solutions is here to help. As a Nationally Accredited Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), PlusOne Solutions seeks to help organizations with large networks of independent contractors. PlusOne Solutions mitigate risks through:

Through a reliable and verified background check plan, companies can reduce employee, contractor, and vendor risk.

To learn more about PlusOne Solutions or to discuss your contractor screening program please call us at 877-943-0100 or visit our Resources page.


Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel concerning their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.


About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit


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