Counterfeiting documents

Counterfeiting is the complete reproduction of an identity document. Generally speaking, this is simple to detect when one has the physical document, as counterfeits are often of very poor quality and rarely include all security elements present in an authentic document. However, counterfeiters’ technical skill levels are quickly improving, and some well-made counterfeits are beginning to appear.
This type of fraud comes up frequently in cases where long-distance relationships are beginning in which the counterfeiter simply sends an image or photocopy of the document. The absence of the original document both greatly complicates detection of this type of fraud and facilitates the counterfeiters’ jobs, as they can use a computer to directly produce the requested image. Then their forgery consists in scanning a valid document and making changes to the image to alter the personalized information on the document.


To create a fake, this might involve:


  • Providing a totally different identity, in which case all personalized information is changed
  • Stealing an existing identity, in which case the thief’s photo is inserted over that of the document’s original bearer
  • Modifying some of the document’s characteristics without changing the identity. This is the case, for example, in counterfeiting a residence permit that aims to extend the expiration date, or counterfeiting an ID to age the bearer (to give the bearer the right to drink, go to a club, etc.).

Our service

To require the user to present a physical document, and not simply a document image (via mobile), we recommend using the SMARTSDK for IDCHECK.IO capture kit, developed by AriadNEXT.
To detect a counterfeit, concentrate on errors made when the counterfeiter constructs the document. These might be personalization errors or errors in reproducing anticipated security points in the document. The IDCHECK.IO service uses a database containing thousands of examples of ID documents issued by every country. As a result, the personalization characteristics and relevant security points are known for each document. After the first, automatic ID step for the document, IDCHECK.IO will verify the personalization characteristics and security points to detect this type of fraud.