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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. In 2018 Tony joined a group of like-minded identity validation experts and founded the Association of Document Validation Professionals (ADVP). He was chair of the organisation from its creation until the end of 2020.

Is your recruitment agency protected against fraudulent identity documents used for Right to Work?

Illustration showing a man next to a passport scanner

As a diligent Recruiter, you no doubt have a process in place for making Right to Work checks and you’re probably well aware of the risks of employing illegal workers. But the first step in any Right to Work process is to ensure that the documents you’re seeing are genuine. And that’s really not an easy task, with countless different identity documents issued globally and many thousands of fraudulent ones in circulation.

Our identity validation technology helps our customers check hundreds of thousands of identity documents annually and we regularly analyse our customer data to highlight trends across industries and fraudulent document types. Over the last 2 years, our analysis shows that the need to have a robust and reliable document validation process in place has never been greater. Read on for some highlights from our customers in recruitment:

1. The number of fraudulent identity documents continues to grow

In 2018, the expert document analysts in the TrustID helpdesk team saw a 55% increase in the number of fake and fraudulent identity documents identified by our technology, compared to 2017. But the growth in fake IDs from the recruitment sector grew even faster, at 83% year on year.

2. Recruitment agencies see a high proportion of fake documents

Our customers in the recruitment sector continue to find a significant proportion of the total fake documents that we see: in 2017, recruitment agencies accounted for 19% of all fraudulent documents, whilst in 2018, they made up 22%. In fact, recruitment, construction and payroll / umbrella services have been the highest referring sectors for the past 2 years.

Illustration of a passport scanner

3. Fraudulent IDs come from all over the world

Last year, our recruitment customers identified fraudulent ID documents purporting to be from 26 different countries across Europe and beyond, particularly passports, visas, ID cards and biometric residence permits (BRPs)

A graph showing the most used fake identity documents
A graph showing the countries with fake identity documents purporting to be from there

British passports and BRPs were the fake identity documents most commonly identified by recruiters last year: they made up 35% of the total fake documents.

As our chart shows, our technology also identified a large number of French, Portuguese, Nigerian and Dutch documents.

4. If at first they don’t succeed…

In our experience, when a candidate unsuccessfully tries to gain employment using a fraudulent ID, they may simply head down the road to the next employer or recruitment agency and try again.  For example, our helpdesk team have seen one particular identity document 5 times from 5 different customers.

If your organisation doesn’t have reliable way to identify the fake ID, you may be the unfortunate agency who takes the candidate on.

The good news is that protecting your business from fraudulent identity documents can be quick and easy. Our ID validation services are easy to implement, simple to use, affordable and help you to store a complete audit trail of document checks. And our expert helpdesk team are also on hand to offer advice or help with anything suspicious. To find out more, or for a free no-obligation trial of our systems, please get in touch.

Want to find out more?

Our ID validation service can help you with compliance by making quick, consistent checks on applicants. Why not find out how we could help you?

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