I Was Framed – “Face Lift, Fake Identity and Fingerprints”

I Was Framed – “Face Lift, Fake Identity and Fingerprints”

We’ve had a fugitive child predator on our radar;  Sometimes the stakes are high to get a background check right.  What do we have to do to get a person to admit the truth?  Well it isn’t easy.  Even when the truth is obvious and staring us in the face, most candidates believe if they just go on denying the truth he or she will never be caught lying.   “I Was Framed – “Face Lift, Fake Identity and Fingerprints” Story 12  is inspired by a true story behind the scenes at Cluso, a Texas licensed Private Investigation Company.

Face Lift, Fake Identity and Fingerprints Cluso comic strip

The Real Story 

The only way to know for sure about someone’s true identity is to be able to compare fingerprints.  We perform electronic fingerprint scanning but commercial companies do not have access to fingerprint information.  We just scan the prints and they are electronically sent to the appropriate local or federal government agency - just a one way street.  We can only get so far with identity before we need help from a government agency.

The comic strip shows an identity coming up with an obviously different person, but the real challenge is when we get a person looking similar to a criminal case mugshot we have to pause, stare and compare back and forth.  Is it him or her, or isn’t it?  Same hair, same height, same name, same date of birth, but pictures are from a different angle or the two pictures are taken decades apart.  Weight changes and age can make a huge difference so doubt on our side creeps in.  But accusing a person of being a fugitive means we have to sure.

Internally we ran a background check on a person with a matched name and dob to a wanted fugitive child predator.  Our client’s job candidate was a high dollar professional.  Also the person was from the Northeast but the Fugitive warrant was from the West Coast.  We found no connection in trace address information to our client’s job candidate to the state with the issued fugitive warrant.

At first we thought we were just eliminating a professional from a criminal fugitive warrant, but when we received the DL copy from our client’s professional, the circumstances became complicated in a hurry.  The Fugitive warrant mugshot showed a grainy picture of a guy with a beard.  The full name matched (first, middle and last) and Date of Birth.  Big deal,  lots of people have the same name and Date of Birth.  But the two matched on green eye color…Ummmm. That’s unusual.  For one, green eyes are not common and to have two people with full name and dob with green eyes.  Placing the pictures side by side, they were similar.  Similar forehead hair line.  The DL showed a clean shaven middle aged professional guy.  The fugitive pic was a mugshot, scruffy guy with a beard but similar nose bridge, forehead, eyes, etc.

This is when we start going investigator desk to desk, elbowing each other, “Take a look at this.  Are these two pictures the same guy?”  One person says yes and the next person says no and another says, “Not sure.”  Picture comparisons are not an exact science.  We completely understand why the police stopped using pictures alone as a way to decide on identity and moved to fingerprints.  Some people really look a lot a like.  Adding weight and age between pictures causes even more confusion.  Add a face lift and a person may pull enough of a change to not be accused based on pictures.

Read More  Of The Real Story  

We know we need to make a call to the police when we just aren’t comfortable to clear the person based on pictures.  In this case the police told us to get fingerprints and we would get an answer within a day (since it was a wanted fugitive for a serious crime.)

I thought that was great news for the job candidate.  We could get a definitive “Not Matched” quickly.  Now I don’t know about you, but if someone simply suggests I may be mixed up with a child predator with a fugitive warrant, I’d hightail it to a police department to clear up the issue.  Our guy wasn’t cooperative.  We sent the fingerprint cards and asked him to get fingerprinted so we could clear him and he could get the job.  He just had some excuse about not wanting to go through the hassle.

Uh ha…  If you were us, what would you think?  Without the fingerprint card and police cooperation to tell us, we can’t get a definitive yes or no on the matter.  Our report was not complete without the fingerprints.  He withdrew from the job opportunity instead of getting fingerprinted.


Would you still give the person the benefit of the doubt after he refused to fingerprint? Give us your comments.


It is difficult to determine if mugshots match identity photos when the candidate has similar features to the mugshot.  The only way to definitively know identity is by getting cooperation with a government agency to match the person to stored fingerprints.


Pay close attention to the identity documents you are provided.  Cross check the name and date of birth listed and then take a really thorough look at the photo on the ID to the job candidate.  If you are hiring remote, make sure someone does this before you start the person working on a job or project.  There are people out there using an ID of another person with similar looks.  Be skeptical and take the extra time.


I Was Framed : Episode 1 – “Identity Theft

I Was Framed : Episode 2 – “Seven Year Background Check

I Was Framed : Episode 3 – “Already in Prison”

I Was Framed : Episode 4 – “Jon Smith”

I Was Framed : Episode 5 – “Good News, Bad News” 

I Was Framed : Episode 6 – “Career Criminal”

I Was Framed : Episode 7 – “Burn Pile”

I Was Framed : Episode 8 – “Dispute”

I Was Framed : Episode 9 – “Twisted Truth”

I Was Framed: Episode 10 – “Consultant Background Check”

I Was Framed: Episode 11 – “Hair Analysis”


3 Comments to “I Was Framed – “Face Lift, Fake Identity and Fingerprints””

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