New Background Check Rules

Angela: Is there a deadline to get the background check done or our accounts will be disabled? I have nothing to hide, but am very reluctant to give my ss# to anyone because of identity theft and hacking. My ID was checked when I joined. I have many reviews, references, linked my Airbnb and LinkedIn profiles. I worked in banking many years and was bonded. I have never been arrested and have not even had a speeding ticket in at least 35 years.

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I hope you are right about existing sitters being grandfathered in. You bring up so many valid points. I used to have police checks run on new employees when I was working in HR. They only checked jurisdictions where they lived for the last seven years. There was no way to do a nationwide check, so someone who lived in Florida could have a Felony conviction while traveling in California and it would not show up. They could also just not list the address of the state where they did crime in. Lots of ways for criminals to get around this.

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Will I not be able to continue with ths if I don’t give you a copy of my passport I don’t have a valid driving licence as I don’t drive anymore. I will maybe look for another house sitting site don’t want to leave but feel very annoyed about being asked for this after all this time.

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That would be an excellent idea for existing members being grandfathered in, similar to being able to retain the Classic Membership.

I think all of our concerns including @Southernsitter is that we are aware how easy it is to have your id documents cloned for Identity Theft.
The only reviews I can find on Evident are on Facebook and they are not complimentary.

@Angela-HeadOfCommunity has suggested that we write direct to Membership Services team but it needs to be addressed by someone who is able to change this new Rule

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@Rob Thank you for bringing this topic to the forum. Those of us on the forum who are THS members should have our voices heard. As @Angela-HeadOfCommunity has said we should make our position known, I am tagging @Therese-Moderator to notify her of my position and ask that she record it.

This company is world-wide, and so its policies have to also be workable worldwide. I have read the information at the link that Angela provided, and see that in the US they must provide their social security number. In Canada, the equivalent is a social insurance number (SIN). Here’s my government’s position on protecting my SIN:

In particular, I’ll highlight one section:

I go to a great extent to protect my identify online. Even still, I have had identify theft and credit card theft (not the actual card, but the number). I have no intention of sharing my SIN with any outside agency. We all need to reduce our exposure to the chances of having our identify hacked.

I recently participated in a video interview with THS product development staff. They asked my opinion on identity checks and I made my position extremely clear. No doubt if most of the members they surveyed were homeowners, it would certainly give biased results. With a current membership of about 70,000, I also fail to see how this has been implemented based on member feedback. The sample size would likely be inadequate to be seen as proper data collection in any research project.

If this policy is implemented in Canada and made mandatory, I will refuse and will move on. I would be sad to leave THS, but I will stand firm on my position. Respectfully submitted to the THS team.

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Yes, exactly THIS. I’ve made similar points in posts that somehow are not making past the moderator…seems kind of odd wouldn’t you say?

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Totally agree. I created a posting yesterday to express my similar thoughts and TH will not publish it. I work in IT and am well aware of how many data breaches occur (95% of which nobody will every hear about unless it is huge like equifax, t-mobile etc). This policy just goes too far. I could understand the ID check but could you imagine AirB&B requiring you to upload your social security number?
It’s a shame that you must give up control of your personal data just to use this site.
Let’s see if this posting makes it through the moderator…

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I find it interesting the my posting has been “awating approval” for almost 20hours now.
I expressed a well written dissenting opinion against this new requirement as others have here and it apparently will not be posted.
Why?

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Every time I enter my telephone number I get this message “We could not send a text. Try again in a few minutes” I am in Canada but when I click on Canada I get a USA flag.

One of our sitters PMd me today that he will be leaving THS precisely because of this & has requested a partial refund. I don’t blame him. He has nothing to hide but is very, very uncomfortable with the types of info he is being asked to disclose to a third party – he is an IT professional and is very aware of security breaches, the vast majority of which are never heard about. The stories are not pretty.

Thankfully, we have each other’s personal contact info so will be arranging sits off the THS grid. As a HO, I am not having any difficulty with the present system of performing my own due diligence on prospective sitters. I feel THS needs to rethink this new policy.

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@Snowbird , et. al. , as @Itchyfeet suggested, I sent a letter about this matter to Membership Services asking that it be shared with the administration. I also included the link to this forum topic. I am optimistic that they will work this out to everyone’s satisfaction.

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Hi @Trustedsitter as you had asked specific questions one referring to refunds, your original comment was immediately forwarded to the Membership Services Team for a direct response via email. I will follow up with them to make certain they have answered your questions.

Yeah, this whole thing where I’m supposed to give my social security number to a website that is having IT issues straight from the word go is extraordinarily disconcerting. And I don’t know who TH polled about this, but they certainly did not ask me.

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I signed up less than a year ago and I have had a good experiences up to this point…was planning some more. However when I signed up, the ID and background checks were OPTIONAL. I subscribed for a year under THOSE terms of service (TOS). Now, mid-year, the TOS have changed and these check are MANDATORY starting on 16 March. Therefore, unless I complete the checks, apparently I will not be able to use the service that I have paid for beyond March.

While I am all for a safe environment, and I have nothing to hide, I do not wish do give a company my social security number, driver’s license number, address etc. If a home owner did not want to select me because I’m not ID/background verified, I was fine with that (BTW, none I spoke with had this issue. If the homeowner had requested to see my ID, I would have shown it to them). I’m a private person and I don’t like to give this data - this is just too much to ask to use this site. Also…only for the US citizens it seems for now.

Not pleased with this!!!

<snip from CURRENT terms of service that exists TODAY on the TH website)
Background Check Policy
Last updated: 6th May 2021
I. The Criminal Background Check
Sitters who reside in the USA, that have purchased a standard plan or premium plan membership will have the option of completing a Criminal Background Check.

…then toward the end…
III. Definitions
“Criminal Background Check” means an optional check for criminal convictions

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Could it be that THS refers to Canadian provinces as "States’? Although brought to the attention of THS ages ago, the error still (insultingly) appears.

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This is the first I’ve heard of this. How were members notified?

We had a criminal background check when we joined in 2018 and then THS no longer provided this service. We are US citizens and have an address of record in the States. We have not been back to the US for 4 years and have never done a house sit there. We recently had FBI background checks completed as required, for immigration purposes here in New Zealand. I will not be providing a SS#, so after 4 years and 80 sits I guess we will be moving on. I’m assuming that pro-rated refunds will be taking place?

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Very good point @Knowmad. How were members notified? First I’m hearing of it as well via this Forum.

My husband was recently the victim of identity theft. A nightmare to deal with and have resolved.

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I knew nothing about it until I read about it here. There is nothing about a required background check on my dashboard on either the website or the app. I have a classic membership and never upgraded. This is why I thought old members had been grandfathered in.

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I hope you’re right about being grandfathered in.
Since this thread appears to be blowing up a bit, it would be nice if some of our concerns would be addressed rather than being referred to memberships services.

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43 Reviews

Email verified

Phone verified

ID verified

2 external references

Criminal background check

This is copied off our profile. According to the information above we are completely verified all be it done about four years ago. Do we have to do it again?

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