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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Why should I use your company rather than a larger firm?

At Whelan & Whelan you receive personalized attention and the ability to customize projects to suit your needs and stay within budget. You get the personal attention that you deserve from investigative professionals and we offer real products at a realistic price point. We can and, if given the chance, will help your business succeed with our customized solutions and unparalleled quality.

Will my business information and the personal information of my employees be safe?

Yes, we take every measure possible to ensure your peace of mind and keep your business information and the personal information of your employees safe. Any and all information provided to Whelan & Whelan regarding services will be considered confidential in nature and is never shared with or sold to any third party sources. Information provided by clients is only used for the service being rendered and will not be disseminated without express written consent of the client. Our job is to protect our clients from unnecessary risk, and we take that responsibility very seriously. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy.

Will Whelan & Whelan represent my company professionally?

Absolutely, we specialize in premiere investigative products and pride ourselves in providing our clients with the highest level of professionalism available, from initial consultation to final work product our focus is on obtaining the information you need with uncompromising quality and skill. You can rely on our experienced professionals to get the job done, the right way with every case. For more information on how we view professionalism, please visit this article on our blog.

Why don’t I see pricing on your website?

We don’t have pricing on our website because our products are custom tailored to our clients, which means that we cannot give you specific prices in the abstract. We need the details of your situation before we can create an accurate price quote. While we do have some prepackaged investigative products, we take the time to work with each and every one of our clients to find the best and most cost effective solutions to meet your needs. This is one of the ways we work harder to keep our services more affordable. If you are interested in one of our products, please feel free to call us or email us with details about your needs. We would be happy to discuss them with you and provide a detailed and affordable quote.

Is Whelan & Whelan a licensed private investigation firm?

Yes, our company is licensed as a private investigation firm by the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services. 

Why should I do a background check on a new hire?

In today’s economy, businesses simply can’t afford to make bad hiring decisions. While there are no guarantees that a background review will ensure that you find a good match for your company, a proper and comprehensive investigation will provide you with relevant information to be in the best position possible to make good, informed hiring decisions. A thorough background investigation will allow you to corroborate details provided by selected applicants and uncover any potentially derogatory issues that may expose your company to liability.

Every bad hire that you make can negatively impact your business in a variety of ways, ranging from monetary losses from compensation packages and liability lawsuits to the impact on employee morale and customer service. A thorough and properly performed background investigation can help weed out applicants that are ‘padding’ their resume to appear qualified for the position and leave you with a pool of candidates that specifically match the skills desired. We don’t just offer pre-employment screening services, we provide you with peace of mind when making hiring decisions.

Do I need a signed release to run a background check?

Long answer short, probably. If (1) you are utilizing an investigator or background check provider, such as Whelan & Whelan, and (2) you are requesting a background investigation on a new hire, current employee, or someone that you will have decision-making authority concerning their employment, you will need a signed release form. This is a requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There may be additional requirements under state and federal law that you will have to apply to your situation, but we will always take the time to fully discuss this information with you at the start of any investigation.

Can I order a background check on a caregiver, nurse, or nanny?

Of course you can, and most people would agree that you probably should. If you are hiring an individual to care for a loved one, it makes a lot of sense to have a background review performed. In addition to criminal history checks, sexual offender registry searches, and driver’s licensure inquiries, we will verify any credentials that are claimed as well. We take every step to ensure that this person who you are trusting with your children, elderly relative, or other loved one is exactly who they are holding themselves out to be. You will have peace of mind knowing that you selected the right person with the proper qualifications to care for your family member.

I did a search for that person on the Internet. It’s pretty much the same thing, right?

Not even close. There is a common misconception that an internet search is synonymous with a background check. While it is possible to obtain very basic personal information and public record documents for some individuals, it is a misconception that you can obtain anything on anyone just using an Internet search. With over 20 years of industry experience, the investigative professionals at Whelan & Whelan go beyond simple Internet searches to uncover all relevant, publicly accessible information relating to the subject of a background investigation. We know how to properly perform compliant background investigations and the sources to access to unearth useful and accurate information.

Additionally, we take the time to directly verify all potentially derogatory records that may be unearthed and guide you through the proper procedures for utilizing that information with respect to a new hire. Knowing where to look and how to use what records are found makes all the difference between good hiring decisions and leaving it to chance. We get you the entire background of an individual with verified source data upon which you can rely. If nothing comes back from an Internet search that person might have a clean background, but do you really want to take that chance when you could know for sure?

Why shouldn’t I just use an online background check?

When considering using an ‘instant background’ service, keep in mind that you will not receive a thorough search. The data provided by these companies is often times outdated, inaccurate, and incomplete. As a result, you are paying for a service that is in no way comprehensive and never provides a good basis for making informed decisions. For a more detailed answer to this question, please follow this link to a relevant article on our blog covering instant and automated background checks.

We will never provide you with stacks of unverified records to sort through as a final work product. Companies that offer instant background checks are known for providing clients with half true information, a ‘data dump’ of possible same name matches to your subject that you have to spend valuable time to attempt to verify yourself, and notoriously miss pertinent information. Choosing to use any information gathered in this manner exposes your company to potentially serious legal liability. Let our professionals help you to make informed business decisions based on verified facts.

What about laws regarding background checks? Can I actually use the information?

Despite what you may have heard, you can use information obtained from a properly performed background investigation when making hiring decisions. There are legal guidelines that must be followed with proper background review and the records that are uncovered, but the discussions surrounding background checks are full of half-truths and misinformation. Between EEOC regulations, FCRA guidelines, and ‘Ban the Box’ laws compliance can be challenging. That is why it is beneficial for you to speak with us regarding our services. We are professionals who understand the law inside and out, because it is our business to know it. We can help ensure your company’s compliance, contact us today.

How do your background screening programs differ from my current provider?

We offer a number of investigative products that were designed with flexibility in mind so that we can effectively meet our clients’ needs. In addition to our pre-packaged products, we are able to design custom investigative projects tailored to meet each of our client’s specific needs. We pride ourselves on providing thorough, professional, and, most of all, useful information to our clients. Our level of customer service is unparalleled, and that makes all the difference. Give us a call and find out for yourself what makes Whelan & Whelan unique.

What is Investigative Due Diligence?

Investigative Due Diligence is the practice of performing an in-depth analysis of the background and reputation of a company and key personnel for the purpose of determining the viability of an investment, merger, acquisition, or other business relationship. Essentially, this is an extremely in-depth background investigation on an individual or company. This process consists of a thorough review of public records to identify any negative factors that impact your decision. The records reviewed typically include all manner of legal filings, corporate registration materials, regulatory filings, government watch lists, public company filings, as well as news and media materials. In addition, direct interviews, credential verifications, reputation assessment, and online web presence research is performed as requested/needed to further develop an accurate background of the individual and/or business. Our Investigative Due Diligence products were professionally developed to enhance your overall due diligence and risk assessment processes.

What is the difference between a Background Check and Due Diligence?

These two products were designed for different client needs. Our Background Screening services were created primarily for use in pre-employment and post-employment investigations, tenant screening, or any other situation where you would need a focused amount of information about an individual. We offer a variety of pre-designed options (with a number of Investigative Upgrade selections) as well as a customized background package, which allows our clients to request an investigation with only extremely targeted research. On the other hand, our Investigative Due Diligence packages were developed for comprehensive risk assessment and evaluation for use in investments and other business relationships and, as a result, are far more in-depth than a standard background check. This service incorporates a comprehensive review of all available primary and secondary sources of information in order to uncover any potential risks that may impact your deal or business venture.

How would your HR consulting services benefit my company?

Whether you have a new company and need to begin hiring employees or you have an entire HR department in place, sometimes it is beneficial to have an outside evaluation or introduce a new point of view. We have the expertise to help, and we know the legalities surrounding a variety of Human Resource issues including FCRA compliance, OIG Exclusion List monitoring, workplace investigations, and policy formation/implementation to name a few. Let us help you ensure that your human resources department is in full legal compliance and are best serving of your professional business needs.

How can your Social Media and Internet Investigations benefit my business?

Since much of today’s personal and professional interactions are online, it is becoming more important to understand the whole picture. Our Social Media and Internet Investigations allow our customers to go beyond the scope of a traditional background check or due diligence investigation to review the online reputation and overall internet presence of an individual and/or company. This research has the opportunity to discover potentially derogatory information before you make a decision based on resume materials alone. Understanding how someone is perceived and how they conduct themselves on social media platforms, blogs, and discussion boards will help you to make more informed decisions and avoid a bad hire or bad investment situation.

This specific service is available as an addition to a background check or investigative due diligence project or can be ordered as a stand-alone investigation.

How can I use your social media investigations and monitoring service?

We created this service to be beneficial to those in the legal community, as well as businesses of all sizes. Attorneys benefit from our social media investigations by locating online profiles of clients, claimants, parties, witnesses, and jurors for the purpose of identifying information relevant to a case and to uncover potential misconduct or unauthorized dissemination of information. Businesses can utilize this service for pre- and post-employment screening, brand reputation monitoring, as well as uncovering copyright and trademark infringement. These can be requested once or be performed on a regular basis at the client’s request, thus providing real-time updates and information when you need it.

As with all of our professional services, we perform our social media investigations and monitoring services in full legal compliance. We do not engage in social engineering, hacking, or any other unethical practices to obtain information.

What is OIG Exclusion List Monitoring?

It is one of the most important risk management tools for those in the health care industry today. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requires that all health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds do not employ or conduct business with individuals and companies that have been placed on an official Exclusion List barring them from participating in such programs. Both the OIG and CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) recommend that all employees, vendors, contractors, and referral sources are checked against the official Exclusion list both at the time of hire/contract and at least once a month thereafter. In addition to these federal mandates, many states maintain similar lists for the same purpose.

Failure to comply with these standards can lead to fines of up to $10,000 per instance, treble (3x) damages, a possible placement on the Exclusion list for yourself or your facility, not to mention a cessation of government funds. At Whelan & Whelan we understand the need to precisely and accurately identify all risk associated with the operation of your business, especially those that are crucial to your funding and ability to remain in operation. We perform searches directly with the source, not with second-hand databases so that we can provide the absolute best and most accurate results. Our clients have the option of affordable monthly, quarterly, and annual plans to effectively mitigate the risks associated with OIG Exclusion list monitoring and to ensure compliance.

How can my business benefit from your mystery shopping service?

If your business is like most it hinges on a positive customer experience. As such, our mystery shopping service has been designed to give you the most accurate, insightful, and unbiased feedback regarding your company. Given the technological aspect of today’s retail community, we perform these services online and telephone nationwide, as well as on-site in and around the central New York area. We build a customer mystery shopping experience based on our client’s information needs and address those areas of potential concern. With a focus on detail and helping improve your customers’ experience, Whelan & Whelan can help give your company a competitive edge.

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