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Why should I use the County Wide Group?

There are a number of investigative agencies, locally and nationally. You can choose any firm you want; however, the simple answer is that the County Wide Group provides you with personalized results. We listen to your concerns, and give solutions that are honest, realistic, and can fit your budget.

Why you shouldn’t use an “instant” online background check site?

There are a number of reasons, but the most important two are reliability and accuracy. These sites may not be updated with any consistency and may have incorrect and/or incomplete information. Wrong or incomplete information can put your business in an unfortunate liability situation.

What if I am not sure I need a private investigator?

Call us! We will be happy to evaluate your matter and let you know what we can do to help. Our consultations are free of charge.

Is my information confidential?

Absolutely! Other than person(s)/parties authorized by you, we keep all your information confidential.

What should I bring to my consultation?

For your consultation, please bring any documentation/records that you believe are relevant to the matter.

  • Correspondence – letters, emails, text messages, etc.
  • Records – phone records, court records, institutional documents, etc.
  • Miscellaneous – pictures, videos, computer hard drives, etc

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, cash and all major credit cards.

Do you testify in court and at depositions?

Yes. We regularly coordinate with legal representatives to testify on our clients’ behalf.

Are you licensed?

Yes! We are licensed, bonded, and insured according to New York State regulations. Should an investigation lead outside of New York, we are affiliated with a number of licensed and insured investigative firms nationwide.

What associations are you members of?

  • National Association of Professional Background Screeners
  • Association of Former Detectives, Nassau County
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Nassau County Detectives Association
  • Associated Licensed Investigators of New York State
  • Association of Licensed Detectives of New York State
  • Hauppauge Industrial Association

When do people use polygraph examinations?

  • Sensitive Employment – Local Police, U.S. Military Branches and Government Agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Department of Defense use polygraph examinations for applicant screenings, criminal investigations, and matters of national security.
  • Civil/Family Matters – Individuals, families, therapists, and employers use polygraph examinations to verify statements and find out the truth on a variety of issues including infidelity, drug use, addictions, sex offenses, employee theft, criminal activities, abuse, and many other concerns.
  • Legal Matters – Civil and Criminal – Polygraph examinations can be used to determine truth in a client’s case, verify a client’s truthfulness relative to negotiations, and verification of witness statements. Courts also mandate polygraph examinations on a regular basis for post-convicted sex offenders. In addition, U.S. Attorney Offices, District Attorney Offices, Public Defender Offices, Defense Attorneys and Parole & Probation Departments all use polygraph examinations for various matters.

What is a typical polygraph examination like?

The County Wide Group’s Lead Examiner adheres to the strict standards and methods as approved and accepted by the American Polygraph Association and the U.S. Federal Government. A typical polygraph examination is divided into three parts: a pre-test, the actual polygraph test, and a post-test data analysis phase. In the pre-test, the examiner completes required paperwork and talks with the examinee about the polygraph test. During this period, the examiner will discuss all the questions to be asked and familiarize the examinee with the entire testing procedure, process and equipment. During the actual-test, the examiner will administer and collect a number of digital polygraph charts. Following the actual polygraph test, the examiner will analyze the charts and render an opinion as to the truthfulness of the person taking the test and issue an official report with the results. Due to established laws and blood pressure cuff time limits, there is a strict limit of pertinent test questions that may be requested by the client for each polygraph examination (all other questions on the polygraph test are generic in nature and are established by the examiner for baseline purposes). The pertinent test questions are usually established before the actual polygraph examination.

What is the minimum age for a polygraph examination?

A person taking a polygraph test must be 13 years of age or older at the time of the actual polygraph test. Examinees under 18 years of age at the time of the actual polygraph test must have a parent or legal guardian complete and sign a consent form.

Are polygraph results admissible in court?

Polygraph results are admissible in some federal circuit courts and some states. More often, polygraph results are admissible when the parties have agreed to their admissibility under terms of a stipulation.

What is EPPA (Employee Polygraph Protection Act)?

This federal law established guidelines for polygraph testing and imposed certain types of restrictions on most private companies and employers in regards to testing their employees. This legislation only affects commercial businesses. Local, State and Federal governmental agencies (such as police departments) are not affected by the law, nor are public agencies, such as a school systems or correctional institutions. In addition, there are exemptions in EPPA for some commercial businesses as follows:

  • Companies under contract with the federal government
  • Companies which manufacture, distribute or dispense controlled substances
  • Armored Car or Alarm and Security Companies
  • Nuclear or Electrical Power Plants
  • Public Water Works
  • Toxic Waste Disposal

All other commercial companies and businesses can request a current employee to take a polygraph examination or suggest to such a person that a polygraph examination be taken, only when specific conditions have been satisfied. However, the employer cannot require current employees to take an examination, and if an employee refuses a request or suggestion, the employer cannot discipline or discharge the employee based on the refusal to submit to the examination.


Isn’t a background check and due diligence the same?

No. A background check focuses on an individual in a limited situation, usually relative to the job position. A Due Diligence background is more in-depth, searching more areas of the individual or company from a number of perspectives and evaluating the risk assessments associated with the target(s).


Do you need written permission to run a background check on an applicant?

Yes. You are responsible for having your applicants’ written consent to access certain information in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You are responsible for maintaining this document, which the County Wide Group may request from time to time for audit purposes.

Does an applicant have access to their background report?

Yes. The FCRA allows consumers to obtain a copy of consumer reports.

How do we tell an applicant that they have been denied a position due to the applicant screening results?

Under the FCRA, you are to send to the applicant a pre-adverse action letter and an adverse action letter. You may request County Wide Group to send these letters, for an additional fee.

  • Pre-Notice of Adverse Action Letter – This is the first letter you send to the applicant. It lets the applicant know that there is information on the report for which you are considering taking back an offer of employment. You must provide the applicant with a copy of their background report, along with this letter.
  • Final Adverse Action Letter – This is the second letter that can be sent out 5 days after the pre-adverse letter to inform the applicant that the job offer is being withdrawn based on the background check that the applicant could not dispute.
  • While there is no time period specifically referenced in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), the Fair Trade Commission (“FTC”) has provided guidance that suggests five (5) business days is the minimum time period that should elapse after sending a Pre-Adverse Action Notice before sending the Final Adverse Action Notice. What is clear from the FCRA language, FTC guidance and case law, however, is that the Pre-Adverse Action Notice must be sent before the Final Adverse Action Notice; therefore, in no event should the Pre-Adverse Action Notice and Final Adverse Action Notice be sent simultaneously.

What if the background report has wrong information?

The FCRA allows consumers to dispute information contained on their background reports. Disputes are promptly investigated but may take up to 30 days to be resolved, as provided for in the FCRA. Should you need to dispute your report, please contact your company’s human resources representative and they will contact us accordingly.


Do you process drug screenings?

We process drug screenings for a number of our corporate applicant screening clients. Please contact our office for more information on these services including cost, times available, and results.

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