Coincidence or Some Sort of Mixup?

Hey all, long time lurker here, finally had an experience I wanted to ask about.

I’ve been currently processing for a TS/SCI, already been through polygraph and everything else deep into the investigation now (Had subject interview, all references contacted, and a few followup calls from my investigator with clarifying questions). Well, yesterday I got a call from my investigator, saying that something had come up that needs to be addressed (third time this has happened now), and they would prefer it’s done in person. I agreed to meet in person, despite the COVID-19 situation, at which point my current investigator said that they would pass it on to a different investigator, as they won’t be leaving their home during this time. They told me to expect to hear from the new investigator to schedule an in person sit down.

Flash forward to this morning. I get a call from an investigator, but they’re asking for a different name. They confirm that they have the right phone number, however, the name they are asking for doesn’t match mine.

My question is: do you think this is just a strange coincidence, and they just got the wrong phone number, or do you think that maybe there was some sort of mixup with this new investigator pulling my file? I figured it was best not to call the number back and ask if they had been assigned my case and maybe there was some mixup.

Generally, I would just wait it out, but I would hate for there to have been something that happened, and now they can’t get a hold of me.

Thank You! This forum has been a great help while undergoing my investigations.

Reach back out to new investigator/wrong name. Explain all you just did here. It’s possible there was a mix up. May have confused interview notes from two files (it happens). You are in the best position to know if some aspect of your sf86, interview or poly was…somewhat sideways. Meaning, you know your credit history, criminal if any, recreational drug use if any…misuse of meds if any…foreign contacts if any…
Can you tell us what the first few follow ups were in reference too? That might be a clue. Past performance on a job or bad neighbor? May have given negative info but it requires verification. Spurious claims from an angry ex spouse, without evidence, is just that. Spurious claims.


Thank you for your response!

I went ahead and reached back out to the investigator, and they remembered the situation as well. They claimed that they were looking at a different file while reading into an item of mine that had been passed to them, and then just accidentally dialed the wrong number. That clears that confusion up immensely, so thank you: I just wasn’t sure if it was frowned upon to call an investigator back when they may or may not actually be looking into your file.

This did, however, raise some other confusion, as the investigator claimed that looking at my item, there was nothing that I needed to do for it, whereas the initial investigator had passed it on due to the fact that it required an additional in person sit down. I’m hoping there wasn’t any sort of mixup there, but it seems to seem like I should just trust the process to play out at this point.

The first few followup questions were largely focused around two main topics: an outstanding hospital bill in collections and experimental drug use a few years ago. Pretty standard questions, nothing I’m too concerned about as the hospital bill has since been properly billed to my insurance and taken care of, and the drug use wasn’t something I could now do anything about besides put on the table and explain. Both were on my SF86.

My guess is the follow up interview will be prodding these a little further, I just find it curious that they now want to sit down in person after having discussed the additional questions thoroughly over the phone twice previously.

Again, thank you for your response!

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A lot of times we don’t have a choice but to do a “re-interview” in person, just to get further clarifications even on stuff that has already been discussed. For DCSA cases there is a lot more lee way when it comes to being obtain information by phone. Investigators working contracts for DHS or Intel Community don’t have that option sometimes because the customer runs the show. I once had to drive 45 minutes just to “re-interview” a guy and discuss some discrepant dates for his duty stations that were found in his official personnel folder. I could have had it done in 2 minutes over the phone


My guess is that it’s something similar with my case: it could easily be discussed over the phone, but they would rather it just be done in person. I just find it interesting that they did the over the phone clarifications previously, and they weren’t able to get approval for it this time around. I guess we’ll see!

From speaking with investigators, it does seem like they’re working towards VTC capabilities given the current situation, but that could really mean anything. It’ll be curious to see if we actually see that come to fruition.

Has this been taking care of? The investigator may have wanted you to say can we discuss this via phone!

I believe that it has been. I got a phone call (from a third investigator) roughly a week or so following this incident asking what I’m assuming was the additional question mentioned by my initial investigator. It didn’t seem like an issue serious enough to warrant an in person interview, so I’m surprised the customer requested it be completed in person, but it would have just been much simpler if I had told the initial investigator that I preferred to answer over the phone.

You live and you learn, I suppose!

We are always required to do in person. However; sometimes in certain situations we are able to do them in person.

COVID-19 definitely seems to be one of those situations, that’s for sure. I figured it must have been a fairly serious issue as I had been requested, over the phone, for additional information twice prior to this incident (also prior to COVID-19), so when it was requested in person, my thoughts jumped to the worst. My guess though, is that they changed policy and all additional information was to be requested over phone.

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I always tell my Subjects that there are times we have to clarify things and not to go in to immediate panic. I know it’s easier said than done.


Since the “customer” requested it, does that imply your case was closed and it was in adjudication when you were contacted?

That was my thought, but unfortunately, it looks like we may never know.

As it turns out, they dropped the clearance investigation due to COVID. I found this out when I recently accepted a job with a contractor who searched Scattered Castles for any record of the clearance and couldn’t find anything. The thoughts from the FSO is that they just dropped the clearance and wiped the slate clean (no denial, no approval, just blank) due to COVID. Very unfortunate as I now have to restart the process all over again with the same customer for the same clearance.

I would be very surprised if that is actually what happened. I could see an investigation being suspended because of COVID but dropped entirely that doesn’t make sense unless it was some sort of mistake or oversight.

Especially with your case having gotten as far as it did there has to be some record

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So the initial position was just for a short term role (internship), so I think that, due to the internship period having passed, it would make more sense for them to say that there’s no point in continuing through with it.

I feel it is super strange as well, especially given my having gone through, presumably, the entire investigation and sat for the poly, but when my new employer checked the system, there was no record of me in there whatsoever (with the exception of my active Secret DoD clearance).

I’m hoping it’s possible that I may not be in the system but there’s still some sort of record with the IC organization themselves that can be used for my new clearance, but I really don’t know.

It sounds like you were going through a clearance with an IC organization. They are their own separate animal with their own set of difficult guidelines VERY different from DCSA and they keep their own set of records. The IC contracts are the only contracts that have insisted that in person interviews to continue throughout COVID. I am so sorry you had to go through the mix up with your investigator. It’s unprofessional but not surprising to me given the amount of pressure put on “green” investigators to work multiple contracts when even seasoned professionals have difficulty doing both. The experience you described would have me very worried about the large amount of PII entrusted to someone with such a careless work ethic.

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They usually add your clearance info until you EOD. They will fly you cross country and put you up in a hotel 6 times, pay you for parking at the airport you departed, only to deny you due to suitability It is not outside the realm of impossible.

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I guarantee if it was a three letter agency there is a record. Each uses their own proprietary system, believing only they get it right. If you sat for poly, each step was documented. SC doesn’t give whole picture from Intell agencies