How to Spot a Fake ID & Protect Your Business from it

Identity documents play a crucial role in both our professional and personal lives. But with the mass use of AI, more advanced methods of creating counterfeit IDs and all sorts of fraudulent increases. This post will guide you on how to spot a fake ID by combining technology and human efforts.

How to spot a fake ID

Identity document forgery has turned into a serious concern all across the globe. Government-issued identity documents have been excessively copied and modified by fraudsters to substantiate fake claims and carry out various illegal activities. According to Europol, criminals invest heavily in the production of counterfeit IDs to support the smuggling of migrants, terrorism, and human trafficking.

In this post, we will guide you on how to spot a fake ID, the types of fake IDs, and how you can identify them. Besides this, we will also get to know about how businesses can prevent identity theft. So, read this post till the end.

Types of Fake IDs

Fake IDs can be categorized into three main categories: Forged IDs, Altered IDs, and stolen IDs.

Forged ID

Forged IDs are those that are not produced by the government or any legal authority. These are specially created in an attempt to set a fake identity of a person. Forged IDs are further divided into two categories, i.e., Front forgery and Front & Back Forgery.

Front Forgery IDs include the IDs made using stolen images and personal information. However, the barcodes of IDs don’t contain any encrypted data, whereas, in the front and back forgery IDs, both sides of the ID document are made legitimate.

Altered ID

These are real IDs, but their information is a little modified. For instance, birth or address data is modified to gain entry into nightclubs and bars or buy alcohol.

Stolen ID

As the name indicates, these are real IDs that don’t belong to the person who keeps them.

What Are The Penalties for ID Theft Criminals

If someone makes or uses a fake ID, a wide range of offenses can occur, as well as a wide range of possible penalties.

Depending on the country/state law and the type of crime one commits, penalties range from probation to fines to even jail for several years. It’s advisable to check with your state’s law to know about the punishments.

Now let’s find out how to spot fake IDs such as fake passports and driving licenses.

Spotting a Fake Passport

A passport of a fake person with numbers marking corresponding elements from the text below. E.g. code of issuing state.
Producing fake passports has become a business for fraudsters. In 2016, nineteen people were arrested in Greece and the Czech Republic. They were involved in the production of bogus European Union Passports.

Here are some basic tips to spot a fake passport:

  • It must have a digitally printed photograph of the holder with a holographic overlay (1).
  • Code of Issuing State (2).
  • The passport must feature the holder’s signature (3).
  • It must have an expiry date printed (4).
  • It must have a machine-readable zone (5). 
  • The passport should be the right size. Most passports must comply with the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-3 standard, which specifies a size of 125 × 88 millimeters (4.921 × 3.465 inches).
  • Check out if the passport contains all the security features. Every country has its security features for passports such as holograms, unique fonts and colors, different sizes, watermarks, and more. Find security features listed in the PRADO system.
  • Check out the number of pages available in the passport. E-Passports have 36 pages. Regular passports have 24-34 pages.
  • Find out if personal information is forged. Try to ask questions about information in the passport, e.g. “When is your birthday?”, “In which city was your passport issued?”
  •  Find out the serial number throughout the pages.
  • Use the PRADO system to find out if the model of the passport is still valid.

Spotting a Fake Driving Licence

A fake driving license with numbers marking corresponding elements from the text below. E.g. signature
Driving license is a substantial identity proof in several countries of the world. Still, unfortunately, the production of fake driving licenses are on the rise.

Here are some steps that you can follow to spot a driving license’s authenticity in the initial stage:

  • It must have a digitally printed photograph of the holder with a holographic overlay (1).
  • No signature or incorrect signature (2).
  • Since fake IDs are created in a hurry, they usually have spelling mistakes and incorrect flag images (3).
  • Feel the surface of the license by running your thumb over the card. Fake IDs are often bumpy.
  • Most fake driving licenses have plain backgrounds (4).
  • You might find the information listed in the wrong place (5).
  • Check out if the license contains all the security features. Every state has its security features for driving licenses such as holograms, unique fonts and colors, different sizes, watermarks, and more. 
  • The driving license should be of the right size. Most driving licenses have to comply with ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard, which specifies a size of 85.60 × 53.98 millimeters (3.370 × 2.125 inches). Payment cards (debit/credit card) are the same size, use them for fast measurement.
  • Use the PRADO system to find out if the model of the driver’s license is still valid.

So these are some of the basic things you can do to determine the common identity document frauds. Unfortunately, as technology is growing, fraudsters have also upgraded themselves. Technologies like deepfake, AI, and more have been used to falsify digital identities.

So, as a business owner, you also need to upgrade your identity verification solution.

How to Protect Your Business from Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world. According to a report, around 7 to 10% of the US population is an identity fraud victim. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to protect your business from identity theft and fake IDs.

You need to deal with the problem correctly. If you doubt that a client or customer presents you with a fake ID, you should immediately stop all the deals. You can ask the customer to hand over the ID to you and then call the police or responsible authority to investigate.

A demo identity document

If you don’t want your business to be a victim of identity fraud, you must take preventive measures first. You need to invest in robust identity verification solutions like data scanning, facial recognition, liveness detection, and more.

If you’re in a business where you have to check the identity documents of your customers/clients remotely and frequently comply with KYC (Know Your Customer), try out iDenfy’s identity verification solution.

At iDenfy we can provide you with an advanced real-time identity verification solution that will automate your verification process. Our solution can detect around 1300 ID documents from more than 200 countries. With our AI-enabled identity verification solution, you can run a series of checks to identify whether the ID is real.

At iDenfy, we’re committed to providing you with 100% protection. Therefore, we help you combine AI (artificial intelligence) with human supervision to spot any fake ID. You can book a meeting with us!

This post was updated on the 2nd of May, 2024, to reflect the latest insights.

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