Skip to main content

The Fair Credit Reporting Act isn’t just about credit. If your company uses background checks in making personnel decisions, the FTC reminds you of your obligations under the FCRA. In honor of Throwback Thursday, here’s an unconventional old-school summary of key requirements under federal law. Spin the mirrored disco ball and join us on the dance floor for “F-C-R-A.”

There’s a law that applies
When a prospect’s
Background you scrutinize.
Just remember
To dot all the i’s.
Get consent in written format.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Exercise care with that consumer report
If you’re eager to stay out of court.

You like ‘em a lot,
But the screening
Reveals a bit of a blot.
The law says
You must give them a shot
To explain misinformation.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Give them the form summarizing their rights.
It includes the essential cites.

If adverse
Action’s what you decide,
Give the reason
Why they were denied,
And the source of
The report you supplied.
And their right to one more copy.

Once your
Decision is sure,
Take steps to
Keep disposal secure.
Need more details?
Well, we have a brochure
To deter unlawful access.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?
The report you must shred, burn, or pulverize
To protect it from prying eyes.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?  (repeat and fade)

Have more questions about how the FCRA applies in the hiring process? Read Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know – or consult your in-house cowboy or motorcycle policeman.


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Get Business Blog updates