Different Types of Fake ID

We discussed how fraud cases often begin with fake IDs and the various methods you can use to spot a fake.

In this post, we will go in-depth into the different types of fake IDs and what the best method is to identify each.

Some methods are more effective at identifying certain types of fake ID than others. Knowing this will help you become more informed when making decisions on what best to use to prevent rental fraud at your community.

There are 3 main types of fake IDs

  1. Forged IDs
  2. Altered IDs
  3. Stolen IDs

Forged IDs

Forged IDs are fake IDs that are produced by anyone other than the government in an attempt to establish a false identity of a person. There are two types of forgery:   

Front Forgery

Front forgery is what most think of when talking about fake IDs.

With front forgery, the front of the ID is made to look legitimate. These IDs usually include stolen personal information and an image of the fraudster. The barcodes of the IDs, however, are either unscannable or do not contain any encoded information when scanned.

A simple ID scanner can spot most IDs with front forgery by telling you whether the barcode can be scanned or whether it has information encoded. This is known as ID parsing. 

Forged IDs are becoming more sophisticated, however. More than 60% of fake IDs now contain information in their barcodes (see Figure 1). Therefore, simply detecting whether the encoded information exists using parsing technologies can give these fake IDs false validation. This leads us to the next type of forged ID.

Figure 1. Only 40% of fake IDs do NOT have encoded information. 60% of fake IDs’ barcodes have some type of encoded information, which makes them difficult to detect. 

Front & Back Forgery

With front and back forgery, not only is the front of the ID made to look legitimate, but the barcode is also encoded to include information that matches the information on the stolen ID.

This type of forgery is more difficult to detect with technologies that only check for the presence of encoded information (parsing). The best method to spot these fake IDs is by verifying the IDs against a trusted ID database. This ensures not only that the barcodes contain information, but that the information is valid.

Altered ID

Altered IDs are real IDs that have part of their information modified. This is common among underaged individuals who try to tweak their date of birth for purchasing alcohol or getting into bars/nightclubs.

Such modification often messes with the ID’s security features such as its tactile and special color printing. Therefore, carefully examining the IDs for the issuing state’s security features can help identify most IDs that are altered.

Stolen ID

These are real IDs that do not belong to the person that is keeping them. In some cases, IDs are stolen and used without any alteration. This is possible especially when prospects apply for apartments online, without anyone to confirm their identities by matching their faces against the ID’s images.

Online ID verification methods such as CheckpointID’s, uses facial recognition to match prospects’ ID images against their faces.  This makes sure that the online applicants are who they claim to be while also ensuring the IDs provided are valid.