A Deep Dive into Synthetic Identity Fraud and Document Tampering

synthetic identity fraud

The digital era has brought undeniable convenience, while opening the doors for new and refined fraud techniques. What is synthetic identity fraud, is the most asked question in this advanced identity verification world. Synthetic identity fraud is a rapidly increasing threat, and is a major concern. Fraudsters create fake artificial identities by combining real stolen data of the user, like their social security numbers, and some fabricated personal information like name, address proof, date of birth etc. Criminals use these artificial created identities for opening bank accounts, obtaining credit cards, and even more financial crimes. Where transactions happen at the click of a button, the risk of online identity fraud looms large. Among all other types of fraud taking place online, synthetic identity fraud stands out as a particularly insidious threat. 

What is Synthetic Identity Fraud & How can it be detected? 

Synthetic fraud is a type of online identity fraud where false information is assembled to do crime. This artificial information may contain both real and fabricated information. Fraudsters may use legitimate identification documents obtained through various means, such as stolen social security numbers or other personal information. 

Detecting synthetic identity fraud is not an easy process and requires robust identity verification processes. Traditional methods may fall short in identifying synthetic identities due to their hybrid nature. However, advanced identity verification solutions like KYC solutions, AML  solutions, video KYC solutions, ID verification solutions, PEP sanction lists, customer onboarding solutions and many more employ sophisticated algorithms to look over documents for authenticity. Identity verification solution providers cross check information across different databases and conduct thorough CDD and identity checks to confirm whether the person is genuine or not. These services help businesses and financial institutions detect and prevent synthetic fraud before it causes heavy loss. 

synthetic identity fraud

How Fraudsters Create Synthetic Identity?

It becomes very difficult to find someone who doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, this type of fraud is not easy to identify unless you’re using advanced identity verification solutions and innovative due diligence tools. Let’s walk through an example to better understand how fraudsters create synthetic identities and maintain them for doing fraud. Let us assume that a person named John is an expert fraudster and has created ample synthetic identities defrauding countless businesses across the country. He has gone unseen for years. Below is an example of how John conducts his fraudulent activities. 

  1. Firstly he obtains real information from an individual, this information mostly contains SSN. Common targets are mostly children, elderly and homeless people. Imagine, a child having an SSN but no public record which is a golden opportunity for a fraudster. 
  2. Secondly, John combines the SSN obtained with a fake name, DOB and address to create a fake identity. 
  3. John is now ready to use his fake created identity for committing frauds like obtaining credit which is the most common fraud fraudsters do when they create a fake identity. 
  4. This process becomes a daily job for fraudsters like John who defraud businesses worldwide. Estimated loss percentage is around 20+ billion fake identities per year. 

What is Document Tampering and How can we detect it?

Document tampering is another method used by fraudsters to cheat identity verification processes. It involves altering and changing the original official documents like IDs, utility bills and passports to create a false impression of legitimacy. Document tampering detection is an important process which should be done very patiently as it requires a keen eye for detail and advanced technology capable of verifying and identifying inconsistencies in fake documents. 

Nowadays document verification solutions have started utilizing machine learning tactics and optical character recognition (OCR) technology to analyze document images for signs of document tampering. These solutions are used to detect fraud done in altering text, images, or digital watermark. These solutions can detect fake documents in a precise manner within less time. By comparing document images against known templates and databases, document verification services can identify suspicious discrepancies and flag potentially fraudulent documents for further review. 

What does IDMERIT UK do?

IDMERIT UK provides a comprehensive suite of identity verification solutions to businesses across various industries such as banking and finance, cryptocurrency, fintech, healthcare, insurance, online gaming etc. It offers tailored document verification services to meet the requirements of businesses. 

IDMERIT UK uses innovation solutions to verify identity verification documents which reveals the authenticity of customer identities accurately and within no time. With over 580 plus ID types and employing advanced verification algorithms, IDMERIT UK helps businesses minimize fraud risk while streamlining customer onboarding process. It helps prevent fraud loss, ensure compliance and build trust among customers. It prioritizes customer satisfaction and tries to deliver the most reliable identity verification solution online. With a proven track of record, IDMERIT UK has remained at the forefront of fighting against synthetic fraud and document tampering. It empowers businesses to take care of their assets and maintain integrity of their brand reputation. 


There is no doubt in saying that synthetic fraud and document tampering pose a major challenge in the onboarding process of businesses and lead towards heavy financial losses. However, with a perfect combination of advanced technology and proactive measures provided by identity verification service providers, businesses can effectively reduce these threats and make sure whether their transactions are secure along with the customer data.