How to Spot a Fake US Passport
The United States passport is one of the world’s most sought-after identity documents and one of the hardest to forge or imitate, making it even harder for criminals. Only expert forgers are easily detectable; others require special equipment or trained eyes for detection. Falsified passports often serve as entryways into illegal immigration, money laundering and other illicit activity.
A genuine passport identifies an individual, such as their first and last names, gender, date of birth, nationality and place of birth as well as a photo and signature. Most passports also feature additional security features like machine-readable zones with two lines of 44 characters that respond differently when exposed to light, such as machine-readable zones (MRZs) with multiple security zones, machine readable zones that respond differently from each other and paper that meets certain standards that reacts in different ways when light hits it.
Why is obtaining a fake US passport so difficult for migrants?
While the best forgeries may be easy to spot, those that fall between extremes are harder to distinguish from the millions of legitimate passports currently in circulation. One sure way of telling which forgery belongs to the second category is when control numbers on the bottom page have been altered or are missing altogether; another telltale sign would be having clearly printed pages that lack embossed images on them.
Expert counterfeiters can produce convincing looking documents using techniques such as micro printing, special watermarks, security weaves in paper and hard to replicate fonts. Therefore, law firms and regulated businesses must use tools capable of digitally verifying passports during Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering processes.