how to verify an identity

How to Verify An Identity with Heightened Certainty

The question of how to verify identities includes the assessment of common risk factors that can leave a modern business vulnerable to fraud. Bars, restaurants, and even financial institutions often rely on the naked eye to perform ID checks, meaning that a security procedure susceptible to human error is all that protects their business from legal fines, loss of license, and financial liabilities.

According to a survey conducted by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and published by the CDC, 29% of high schoolers reported that they consumed alcohol in the last month. Each of those drinks put age-restricted businesses at risk and are often the direct result of inadequate ID checks at those businesses.

To avoid the legal and financial ramifications of serving underage customers, businesses need to know how to effectively check for fake IDs using systems that do not rely on visual checks and are therefore not vulnerable to human error.

Look for Common Fake ID Traits

Today, many companies advertise that they can create fake IDs indistinguishable from the real thing. Some fake ID printers prominently boast that their IDs can even pass government inspection. With those odds stacked against your business, you may be wondering how to verify identity with heightened accuracy. Here are a few questions you and your ID checkers should ask when looking at a customer’s ID:

  • Is the ID expired? Out-dated IDs will be easier to spot than newer ones.

  • Is it printed vertically? This indicates a minor’s license and should never be admitted.

  • Does the typeset match? Mismatched fonts, sizes, or strange-looking text are a telltale sign of a fake ID from a cheap forger.

  • Is there evidence of tampering or warping? When IDs are misshapen or ragged, they may be hiding inconsistencies. Not all bent and misshapen IDs are fake, but it could be a clue that something is being hidden.

  • Does the photo match the customer? Matching the photo to the person is a simple visual check that anyone can do. Look at the features of the face, not just the hair, facial hair, clothes, or other easily copied aspects.

These questions constitute a basic ID check for alcohol and other age restricted industries. However, your age-restricted business needs more advanced procedures if it wants to stay ahead of the fake ID industry.

What are Some State-Specific Identifiers?

Knowing the basics of how your state’s IDs differ can help you spot IDs forged by someone who wasn’t aware of these integral differences. Here’s what to look for:

  • State-specific holograms are hidden in the backgrounds of IDs like the print on currency. Learn your state-specific hologram so you can spot inconsistencies in fake IDs.

  • Laser perforation in IDs forms pictures out of tiny holes that are difficult to see unless you know what you’re looking for. Each state’s picture is different (California’s is a little brown bear, for instance). 

  • UV Imagery differentiates the IDs of some states with a hidden picture, such as a state seal, that can only be revealed under UV light.

  • Laser embossing can make the front plastic of a genuine ID slightly raised compared to the back. A genuine ID maker has the tools to do this that many forgers do not.

Knowing how to spot fake IDs by state can help you catch discrepancies between where your customers say they’re from and the watermarks those IDs should have to prove it. However, even with more knowledge about state-specific IDs, traditional security methods simply aren’t enough.

The Best Way to Check IDs

Nowadays, you must think beyond manual security checks.  A scanner makes more sense with today’s advanced forgers. However, even conventional barcode scanners can be fooled by a well made fake ID because those scanners just read the text in the barcode. 

The key is to be able to scan the barcode and read and verify the IDs encoded security features within that barcode. Only  Intellicheck does this, and leads to Intellicheck’s 99.9% accuracy in catching fake IDs. 

Contact Intellicheck to see how your age-restricted business can be upgraded with a modern sub-second technology solution to the fake ID problem. Eyes are no longer the final authority on real and fake IDs.