Anti Counterfeiting Document Security
Document Security Shield or Defense
The counterfeiting of currency is as old as money itself. Technological developments in photographic, computer and printing technologies, and the relatively low cost of the required equipment have helped to make the creation of counterfeit money easier. Criminals often use stolen or fake identity documents in order to carry out financial crimes. Improving the level of security of official documents is an ongoing effort and more and more requires cooperation of worldwide governments. Government leaders have recognized the need to improve security on official documents. They have adopted new techniques by improving the security features of the documents themselves so they are far less likely to be falsified. Additionally, a global effort to raise the standards of proofing required in order to obtain an official document (e.g. birth certificates, passports etc.). Organizations like Interpol was established to serve as the largest international police organization in the world (190 member countries)
Clearly, document fraud poses a major threat to national security and public safety. Fake documents create vulnerabilities that potentially enable terrorists and criminals to gain entry to and remain in the United States. This is a major problem with immigration and naturalization efforts as well. Document fraud are key elements of immigration related crimes such as human trafficking, critical infrastructure protection, worksite enforcement, visa compliance enforcement and national security investigations. To aggressively engage this type of fraud, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s have partnered with federal, state and local counterparts to create the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force to target criminal organizations and beneficiaries behind these fraudulent schemes. The Secret Service's investigative responsibilities include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering.
Broad Market Problem
a. These secure documents we all use now more than ever to prove who we are. Online purchasing continues to need greater conclusive evidence for both private and public organizations.
b. The importance and their ubiquity, makes it easy to understand why they represent targets for criminal activity.
c. As an example, in April 2012 the European Parliament estimated 6.5 million biometric passports in circulation were fakes. It is key to point out that the Passports are not counterfeit, but the documents used to get the Passports were fraudulent.
What Makes a Document Secure??
There are many security features that can be applied to documents, both overtly and covertly, so we asked you which documents are most secure?? Most people surveyed indicated documents with holograms (61%), identification photos (59%) and watermarks (50%) were most secure. All three of these "solutions" are overt. They are perhaps the most "known" security features for consumers (e.g. seen on passports, driving licenses and even bankcards), but clearly the easiest for a counterfeiter to identify and pass onto an unsuspecting consumer as genuine. For criminals with heavy financial backing, overt measures such as these are a more obvious target than covert measures like using Lepton-id security solutions.
Managing Secure Documents
Clearly, an important element of document security is how they are used. Research shows some 7% of people have had personal documents either stolen or faked. So we continue to look into how people manage their documents. Specifically, how do they dispose of old or expired documents etc. A good percentage (78%) of people surveyed said they shred their documents. Better education and vigilance is required to better protect secure documents.
A Multi-Layered Protection Approach
History and experience tells us a single anti-counterfeit approach to document security is not secure enough. Most experts believe that one measure alone cannot withstand all the potential attacks. The sophistication these criminals possess and funds to drive their efforts make it difficult for legitimate producers to tell the difference between fake and authentic. The Lepton-id key to addressing this lack of trust is to deploy a number of techniques in a document. Solutions such as specially designed taggants for specific applications with a specialty detector that can only read that taggant (marker). Overt features such as Holograms and inks have value, but they will not protect a determined criminal. Those technologies and features can be identified and copied. They need to be coupled with a Lepton-id strategy to make these documents impenetrable from counterfeiting. The complexity, at a low cost to implement will deter the fake producers to move away from that product and seek something easier to copy.
State of-the-Art Technology
The pace of innovation to stay ahead of counterfeiters is always increasing. Lepton-id prides ourselves as technology leaders and can boast that we can authenticate products, in the field, where the documents are located, down to the item (unit) level. This can be done without affecting the surface of the document (e.g. like an invisible barcode). This invisible barcode, visible ONLY with a custom Lepton-id detector can be described as fingerprint or pedigree of each individual document. That is, you can engage the Lepton-id technology and authenticate and trace that item. This means there is no way to reproduce it. These new technologies are fool proof and cost effective.