Document examination is a science. The science includes electrostatic detection of indentations and infrared reluctance and luminescence in order to identify writing inks and to make visible writings that are obliterated.
If you think fake documents are not an issue consider some interesting facts from Ronald Mortensen “Identity Theft, Document Fraud and Illegal Employment” :
- Illegal immigrants are not “undocumented.” Approximately 75% of illegal aliens use fraudulent social security cards to obtain employment. Other fraudulent documents found are counterfeit Social Security cards, forged drivers licenses, fake “green cards”, and phony birth certificates.
- 98% of Social Security Number thieves use their own names with the stolen numbers.
When we are presented with a copy, fax or scan of any document, it always requires an independent investigation at the source to ensure it is not fake.
We have caught many different types of fake documents provided to our clients such as degree copies, mark sheets, transcripts, SSN cards, ID cards, and Employment letters. Some of those documents looked 100% authentic and then we confirmed they were fake with the source issuing institution.
If you are an employer you should only accept government documents as Original and even then the document may be fake. Copies of the originals are just too easy to fake. It takes a specialist to detect a fake document and the technology to create fake documents is improving everyday.
If you are accepting ID or DL cards for identity proof, you may want to consider an identity cross check. Since identity thieves use their own name with a stolen SSN card, we are able to determine ownership and know if the candidate is deceptive.
In general we do not recommend you assume the document is authentic just because it appears to be. Instead, put on an investigator hat on and check it out yourself or hire an investigation company to cross-check what you have been provided.
We are confident the fake documents we have come across will fool you. Even when you see one side-by-side to an original or authentic document you will not be able to tell the difference.