Fake IDs and how to spot them

Written By John Fieldsend
Fake IDs and how to spot them

Fake IDs are a lucrative business, fuelled by the anonymity that the internet and social media afford. A good quality forged document with secure elements, such as a hologram and UV features, of a genuine ID can be obtained at a reasonable price, at the mere click of a button.

A fake ID can be any of the following:

  • Genuine document which is being used by someone else, e.g. a child using their older sibling’s passport.
  • Genuine document which has been altered, e.g. a driving licence with the date of birth scratched off.
  • Fake document which is a copy of a genuine document.
  • Genuine document which has been fraudulently obtained, e.g. a real passport that has been stolen and used by somebody else.
  • Fake document which is a form of ID that does not exist, e.g. a press pass representing the user as a journalist.

The most common fake ID includes those that look like driving licences, such as national identification cards, European or international driving permits and provisional motorcycle licences.

While authenticating and validating the document, keep the following in mind:

  1. Know what to look for on the card: Each ID is intentionally styled differently
  2. Examine security features thoroughly: Cards are usually equipped with features like microprint, holograms, ultraviolet print, microprint, barcode and secure watermarks.
  3. Compare the ID with a valid one, and check for tampering: In the absence of a card authentication device or a checking guide, compare the ID with a valid card for thickness, colour, size, and lettering.
  4. Compare the cardholder to the physical description/ photo
  5. Study the cardholder for signs of anxiety, ask questions, compare signatures, and if still in doubt, ask for another photo ID.

Downloads and attachments

The Menace of Fake ID
  • File name: The-Menace-of-Fake-IDs-1.pdf
  • File size: 1.90 MB
  • File type: application/pdf

16th May 2019