Our view of fraudulent identity documents in 2017

Our view of fraudulent identity documents in 2017
Posted by Gavin Burton on 24th January 2018.

If you regularly read our blogs, you’ll know that every quarter, I analyse our customer data to look for trends across industries and fraudulent document types and share some of that information here. With a year of analysis behind me, I’m excited to share a round-up of 2017 in this blog.

As our business continues to grow, the range of customers that we look after gets broader. In this blog, we’ll look one section of data from our customers in the private sector and take a high-level look at the sort of fraudulent documents that they came across during 2017.   

What sort of fake documents did they find?

In 2017, across the various TrustID platforms, our customers identified hundreds of fraudulent identity documents when making Right to Work, Right to Rent or Counter-fraud checks.  The fraudulent ID most commonly seen by our helpdesk in this year was passports, which made up almost half of all fake documents. Here’s a breakdown by type of false documents: 


Which sectors found the most fake identity documents in 2017?

When I looked into the fraudulent ID documents referred to our helpdesk team by our customers, the sectors whch have found the most documents are construction which referred 28% of all fake documents, recruitment which detected 20% and payroll services which also found 20%. Here’s a view of the top five referring sectors in 2017:


Which countries did fake documents come from?

In 2017, we have seen fraudulent documents from more than 30 different countries. This confirms what our customers tell us – that training their staff to be experts on all the identity documents they might see is difficult and time-consuming.  Across our private-sector customers, the top 10 countries are featured below (in order of quantity):


As our number and breadth of customers continues to grow, we’ll carry on analysing trends but our findings from this section of data show that the risk of seeing fraudulent ID documents in the private sector is very real, particularly as part of Right to Work checks.

  • The highest fake identity document detection rates in 2017 were in low-cost labour employment sectors such as construction, hospitality and recruitment agencies placing candidates in non-clinical healthcare and other lower-skilled areas
  • Fraudulent identity documents in 2017 purported to be from over 30 different countries. If our customers were relying on visual inspection, it would take a lot of training to be able to effectively validate this breadth of documents.
  • The most common nationality of document encountered in 2017 purported to be from the UK.

You can see a quarterly view of our analysis in my blog from February 2017, focused on documents seen for Right to Work in the medical recruitment sector or my blog from April 2017 which talks about the construction sector. 

For more information please contact us or follow us on LinkedIn. 

Gavin Burton

Director at Identity Insight Consulting, providing consulting services relating to counterfeit/forged identity documents, their impact and identity crime issues affecting the ID verification industry. Former Strategic Development Director at TrustID with a background in the Metropolitan Police.

Insight to your Inbox

From our developers, identity experts and wider team

At TrustID we are collectively gathering valuable insight into identity issues in a wide variety of sectors from Local Government to Recruitment, Healthcare and Construction. 
Please share your email address to receive our latest news in your inbox:

Thank you for your subscription - we'll start letting you know when we publish a new blog! 

Thank you.