An identity fraud report states that passports are now the most attacked identity document or online fraud among all the identity documents.

Over the past year, Onfido’s 2022 Identity Fraud report, fraudsters have targeted passports more than any other identity cards for creating a fake copy of them.

“This points to a shift in fraudsters’ methods as they choose to target the one-sided passport page, rather than a two-sided ID card, and target the most high-assurance document in the hope that a passport’s reputation will help the fake go undetected,” said Onfido researchers.

Onfido’s document-fraud specialists process millions of identity documents annually. They help clients identify online fraud across 2,500 document types used in 195 countries. The company’s report covers October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021.  The report also states that fraudsters prefer creating a fake document from scratch rather than tweaking an original ID.

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Over 90% of ID online fraud in the past year involved counterfeit documents using a complete reproduction of an original document, instead of adapting an existing ID,” said Onfido.

Although modern identity documents have many security features embedded in them to detect illegal copies, fraudsters have incorporated several new techniques that make it difficult to identify forged copies.

Over the past year, 47% of all identity document fraud was classed as “medium” sophisticated fraud, which is a 57% increase compared with the previous year.

Losses from identity theft also grew significantly, ballooning by 42% to reach $712bn in 2020.

Identity fraud is yet to return to its pre-pandemic level. In 2020, there was a 41% increase in ID fraud, with the average ID fraud rate reaching 5.8%. Over the past year, the average fraud rate was recorded at 5.9%.

“Online Fraudulent documents open up avenues for serious organized crime, including money laundering and terrorist financing. Consequently, failure to identify fraudulent documents in both real-world and online scenarios poses a threat to the global economy, countries, and their citizens,” commented INTERPOL.

“Increasingly, we have to adapt to the digital use of identity documents, as well as physical. Businesses and governments alike are facing challenges when identifying online fraud in this environment.”