Our expert team here is often asked lots of questions about the details of false identity documents, around how they are manufactured and distributed and what happens when they spot one (top advice here). But businesses are generally most interested in how sophisticated the false ID documents are that are used to try and gain employment, access an organisation’s services or commit fraud. So, in this blog, we’re going to talk about the quality of false documents that our client helpdesk encounters and how our ID checking systems can help according to the likely level of risk…
Evaluate your risk
Firstly, the quality of fake documents seen is dependent upon several factors, but at the heart of these will be the risk profile of the business concerned. In another of our blogs, we highlighted the top 5 industry sectors where our clients had found false documents in 2018, which included construction and medical recruitment. It is very unlikely that anyone presenting false documents in those sectors, for example to gain employment as a construction labourer or carer, can afford highly sophisticated false documents, which, as shown by numerous press reports, will command a premium price. The highest referring sectors were mostly involved in the employment of low-cost labour and as such, the false documents presented and discovered were of a low quality.
Of course, the reverse can be said in a counter fraud environment, where depending upon the type of product concerned and method of application, a higher quality document may be presented, for example, to commit mortgage fraud or open a bank account with a view to money-laundering. In that environment, a fraudster will expect stringent controls and may not risk lower-quality documents. And therefore, the level of checks required to validate these ID documents will be much higher.
Low quality identity documents
In 2017 and 2018, most of fake identity documents found by our customers were detected with our online Cloud ID checking service; this is our entry-level checking service.
Based on our customer evidence over the past 24 months, we believe that private sector organisations employing lower-skilled labour or recruiting a dispersed workforce in a high-turnover environment won’t usually see highly sophisticated identity documents. The lower quality fake IDs that they will see are most-likely to have been produced in country, and don’t require sophisticated validation – they will be more easily and reliably identified by using a first line electronic checking service in the Cloud than by visual inspection alone.
David Park, Commercial Director
Leads our product development and operational activities at TrustID, having previously spent 15 years delivering secure document processing solutions to public and private sector organisations.
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