Detection and Prevention of Sophisticated Document Fraud in 2021

In 2020, the world saw the biggest use of fake and stolen documents for illegal activities. One of the biggest reasons for that is the pandemic that caused millions to face unemployment. We live in a digitally connected world and most of our lives are spent using online services. Digital banking, government tax portals, and digital payments have taken up a huge portion of our lives.

That’s why most fraudsters rely on forged documents and try to avoid document fraud detection. To signify the impact of document fraud, it costs more than $3 trillion annually. It is one of the biggest threats the world can face and it continues to grow. That’s why the best document fraud prevention techniques are required.

Different document fraud types are rising in banks and financial institutions since these organizations have to comply with KYC and onboarding information. Fraudsters use fake documents for various reasons and have a huge impact on the economy. They use the documents to apply for loans, purchase new property, make fake insurance claims, and travel to countries illegally.

All industries support the use of official documents for verification and customer onboarding. That’s why businesses must prevent these cases before fraudsters grandly hurt businesses. Investing in document fraud detection and prevention technologies is the first step toward safety.

Document Fraud Cases for Various Industries

The federal trade commission received over 2.1 million fraud reports in 2020. Imposter scams were the most common type of document fraud and the stealing of online credentials is the second most common type. Businesses lost over $3.3 billion in fraudulent cases by consumers and the FTC received over 4.7 million reports in 2020 about ID theft. 406,365 people reported that their information was misused for numerous illicit activities.

Document fraud types differ from industry to industry. Scammers love going for real estate as there are many types of these frauds. Victims face the consequences of false sale deed filings and fight to prevent getting evicted from their homes. Fraudsters claim ownership of the property using fake documents. They then sue the owners which cost them a huge fee to resolve the issue. Application fraud and identity theft make use of fake documents that are either stolen or purchased off the dark web.

Document Fraud Types

To successfully build document fraud prevention, banks, and financial institutions must be aware of document fraud types. This fraud industry is valued at more than $3 trillion and it’s one of the favorite industries of the fraudsters. The most common document fraud types are:

  1. Forged Documents

As the name suggests, forged documents are files that have tampered information in them. It is up to the fraudsters to change the information completely or partially. Some examples of forgeries in documents include adding timestamps, watermarks, adding or removing pages, and digitally changing signatures. These forged documents are usually used alongside fake identities to commit fraud.

  1. Invoice Fraud

This is a common type of document fraud, this is where an employee impersonates a vendor and makes up a fake invoice. Fraudsters then send these invoices to the company that disburses funds directly to user accounts.

  1. Blank Documents

Blank document is another common type of fraud, it can be used to insert falsified information and these type of documents are leaked from the manufacturing supply chain. In blank documents, blank fields can tamper however they want since they are empty and are needed to be verified.

  1. Camouflage Documents

Camouflage documents are fake identities that fraudsters create to trick banks and other institutions into believing they are someone else. This is a rare type of document fraud but it can be hard to detect if an institution is not directly looking for it.

  1. Counterfeit Documents

Counterfeit documents are something that fraudsters build by copying official documents. Bad actors can use these documents to open new accounts, and gain access to additional credentials. One of the most common uses of a counterfeit document is to use someone’s driver’s license to learn about the social security number.

Document Fraud Detection

Manual verification of documents is the oldest method that banks, financial institutions, and other businesses rely on. But as fraud is evolving, manual document verification can’t keep up. Obvious signs can be detected with document verification, but sophisticated documents can’t be detected with manual methods. 

Technologies like DIRO’s online document verification can help businesses to build document fraud prevention programs and detect forged and stolen documents instantly. DIRO verifies over 7000 document types from all over the globe. DIRO can verify documents instantly by verifying the data from the source. The technology also provides 100% proof of verification backed by verifiable credentials to prevent the use of stolen and fake documents. Businesses need to invest in the right technologies to ensure that the documents aren’t stolen or forged.