Identity Document Forgery – When criminals forge your identities !!

identity document forgery

What is Identity Document Forgery?

Identity document forgery is the process of producing fake documents in an unauthorized manner by criminals to mislead individuals and authorities.

There are several ways to conduct identity document forgery. These ways depend on the production of the document.

The global database of Interpol found 11 million stolen or lost passports in 2010. Identity theft, illegal immigration, age deception, and other crimes make use of such documents.

Jose Del Castillo pled guilty to one count of federal document fraud in September 2008. Castillo, an immigration attorney, was also charged with falsely filing immigration forms. As a result, he went to federal prison for one year. He also faced two years of supervised release and received a fine of $15,000.

identity document forgery

What are the various types of fake documents?

The various types of fake documents are as follows:

  • Counterfeit document
    A counterfeit document is a document reproduced from an authentic document. It is a document which is entirely produced by a fraudster in an unauthorized manner.
  • Blank/stolen document
    Adding details unlawfully in the blank space of an authentic/genuine document.
  • Forged document
    Forged document is a document created by modifying an authentic document. The process in done in an unauthorized manner. The various techniques of forging a document are:

    • Page substitution– By substituting a page
    • Photo substitution– By substituting a photograph or image
    • Data alteration– By altering the personal details (physical or chemical erasures)
  • Pseudo document
    A pseudo document looks exactly like an existing document. The only difference it that it is not issued by an existing and legally recognized authority.

How is identity document forgery done?

The usual identity cards consist of a picture of the user since it is a general form of biometric identification. With the advancements in the technology, forgery of these cards is quite simple nowadays. The availability of cheap printers and scanners has made it so easy to replicate any document. The photo editing software becomes an icing to the cake. The document is then laminated to resemble the real identity document. Therefore, this makes it quite easy for a thief to steal an identity.

How are documents verified?

Detecting a fake document is a difficult task as the document may pass any tests of forgery. Performing a background check on the individual helps to identify such fake documents.

Modern identity documents consist of a magnetic stripe on their back. These strips undergo scanning for verification purposes. Ultraviolet light is also used to view the images printed on the identification card. These images are only visible under ultraviolet light.

What is the value of legitimate identification documents?

The value of legitimate identification documents is extremely high. It can be surprising for you that the value of your passport is worth thousands of dollars on the black market.

identity document forgery

How to prevent identity document forgery?

To avoid identity document forgery, adopt the following security measures:

  • Some documents include a magnetic strip, which contains secret identifying information. Though magnetic strips are not much secure but they still act as a barrier for the forger.
  • Most of the modern identification documents contain various security features. So, it becomes difficult to forge a document. It requires specialized and expensive equipment to duplicate a document. This is generally not possible. School IDs are usually easier to duplicate. This is because they do not have the same level of security measures as IDs issued by the government.
  • It is workable to increase the security of identification documents using secured printing techniques. For example, many recent identity documents include holograms, which are difficult to replicate. These holograms need expensive equipment to replicate, which is not generally available.
  • The addition of hidden security devices in identification documents prevents their forgery. These devices include embedded secure cryptoprocessor chips and RFID tags. Cryptoprocessor chips are difficult to forge due to their complex design. In the case of contactless smart cards, the combination of crypto processor chips and RFID tags is helpful.
  • The combination of several high-security features and biometrics can be effective at preventing the production of forged documents.
  • Verifying information online using a central database is also a great way to prevent forgeries. Online verification easily detects a copied document. It detects attempted uses in many places at the same time.


Fraudulent identities and forged documents have existed since a long time. This becomes a serious issue when you are traveling. The government has adopted several efforts to increase the security of the documents. Still, there are some security holes. So, it is necessary to be cautious of your surroundings. At the same time, protect your documents at all times and in all situations.

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