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Tony Machin


Tony has led TrustID through a transformation program of significant upgrades in technology and services, delivering year on year growth. With previous experience in corporate finance and as CEO of a leading UK financial services organisation, he brings strong leadership and excellent knowledge of compliance and regulatory matters. Tony is the Chairman of the Association of Document Validation Professionals (ADVP), created in January 2018 to help promote the wider use of risk-based electronic validation of identity documents.

Finding fake identity documents in the NHS

We have had a couple of noteworthy document referrals* here at TrustID and, as it happens, they both came from NHS Trusts. For me, they really showcase how effective identity document verification can be in different scenarios facing the NHS and I thought they would be interesting to share.

In the first case, in a drive for greater efficiency and control, the NHS Trust in question had decided to bring in-house a team which had previously been out-sourced. Clearly, as part of that employment process, they ran identity checks. The scanning checks highlighted a suspicious document – a fake Dutch passport – which the potential employee had, presumably, previously used to gain employment at the out-sourced agency who had no such electronic checking process. The Trust were able to stop the fraudulent application.

In the second case, earlier this month, another Trust were in the process of transferring an employee from being an Agency worker to becoming a full-time direct employee. Having recently upgraded to the latest version of our scanning software, they ran subsequent document checks. On face value, the passport presented looked OK and may well have passed a thorough visual check. However, our scanner highlighted a mismatch between the photo on the passport and the photo on the chip – not something that it would be possible to spot with the naked eye. My team confirmed that the passport had been altered and this Trust were also able to stop the employee fraudulently obtaining a permanent job.

Figures last year showed that the NHS and community health services in England employ people from more than 200 countries. Expecting staff who are not document experts to confidently confirm the validity of documents from all of those countries without any supporting technology is unrealistic. Electronic identity scanning adds confidence and security to the validation process and, as the examples above demonstrate, can be an invaluable tool in the battle against fraud.

*We offer our clients the option to ‘Refer to TrustID’ if they have questions or concerns about a scanned document. Our helpdesk team will look at the document and offer advice regarding it’s authenticity.

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