What to Look Out for with Fake IDs and Employment

In past years, the Home Office has reported incidents of people using false or fraudulent identity documents to support their DBS check applications.

Falsifying information can have a profound impact on an individual. However, if a business were not to successfully spot a false identity during the ID verification process and subsequently made an incorrect hiring decision, it can be even more detrimental. This short guide explains all you need to know about the ID verification process pertaining to false IDs and fraudulent activity.

ID Verification Advice

Many organisations will conduct identity checks on applicants by manually inspecting their original documents. These ID documents could be anything from a UK passport and driving licence to a Biometric Residence Permit. 

Identity documents must be legitimate and original, containing the applicant’s name, date of birth and proof of address. This information is subsequently used to request a DBS check, which many organisations require a successful one of, depending on their industry and whether the role involves contact with children or vulnerable adults.

However, there have been numerous instances where, due to lack of resources, successful ID verification has proven futile. Checking the identities of applicants is sometimes left to people with insufficient training, who are unlikely to spot professionally produced, counterfeit ID documents. That’s not to suggest these people are underqualified, but spotting fake identities doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

DBS Checks and ID Checks

DBS checks (formerly known as CRB checks) are completed by employers and volunteer organisations, in England and Wales, to confirm a candidate’s criminal record. Most frequently, they are used to verify whether an individual is suitable to work in industries with vulnerable people, such as education and healthcare. 

Organisations can only request DBS checks. They can go directly to the Disclosure and Barring Service to request an individual DBS check or go through third-party background check agencies such as Eurocom, who the government licenses to conduct bulk DBS checks. Eurocom CI provides organisations with an e-bulk system that gives them complete control and visibility of their ongoing background check applications, including the initial ID check.

In short, almost any background check requires a positive ID verification to progress. The same applies to employment history, financial checks, directorships and proof of right to work.

ID Document Verification Technology

When we consider the sophisticated technology that exists, making it easier to forge and edit ID documents, it’s not surprising that employers are finding it more challenging to differentiate between genuine and false identity documents.

To combat this, the Home Office has been vocal about its support for ID verification technology for the purposes of pre-employment background screening. This includes all types of background checks, from right to work checks to DBS checks

This is ideal for the industry as it means there’s less of a reliance on people with a lack of sufficient training on how to spot fake IDs. Systems - such as ours - can examine documents in a matter of seconds, and in many cases, provide immediate results. The technology we use is designed to aid our clients in establishing the authenticity of every ID document presented.

This technology also helps organisations save time, due to the speed at which the documents are checked. Additionally, the cost-saving benefits of this technology mean that it reduces risks of:

  • Employing illegal workers 
  • Fraud
  • Human error

This technology also provides companies with peace of mind and confidence about their prospective employees’ true identities.

What to Do if You Suspect Fraudulent or Fake IDs

As an employer, should you spot anything fraudulent and the holder is still present, our recommendations are below:

  1. Ensure you’re not at risk of harm
  2. Return any suspicious documents to the holder

The legal powers of seizing documents believed to be fraudulent only lie with law enforcement officers. If this does not apply to you, you should forward copies to the Home Office, as well as any additional details.

Mitigate Risks with Background Screening from Eurocom CI

To find out how Eurocom CI can help you carry out compliant, efficient and regular background checks as part of your pre-employment screening, speak to one of our team today

We work closely within various sectors, from healthcare to finance, to conduct numerous background checks for companies requiring specific checks in accordance with particular standards such as BPSS, SMCR and BS7858. We offer several background screening packages to choose from and bespoke options that can be tailored to your specific needs.