How to Spot Fake Passport IDs
Fake IDs pose a security threat and cost businesses millions every year. While the UK’s antifraud team investigates thousands of cases annually, fakes can sometimes be difficult to spot; non-destructive methods such as light sources, magnification and transmitted lighting may help identify suspicious documents.
Problems surrounding migrants can be particularly acute. Their appearance may change over time due to aging and other factors, making it impossible to match up an ID picture with who’s standing before you – this is particularly problematic when screening passports at airports with people from various places travelling together in lines.
Passports and other forms of identification may be stolen to finance terrorist activities or commit crimes such as human trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion; but tracking down data regarding how many false documents produced and sold for these purposes is difficult as their creators remain unknown.
Boucar, 44 years old and director of Belgium’s antifraud unit, works in an office crammed full of stolen blank passports that have been obtained illegally. He carefully scrutinises each document before rejecting lousy fakes such as driving licenses without digitally printed photos with holographic overlay or nine digit numbers on their first pages or perforated serial numbers throughout.