What is synthetic fraud & document tampering? 

Learn about the dangers of synthetic fraud and document tampering and how Veriff protects businesses and customers from fraudsters. 

Ashley Nelson, August 12th, 2021



Love this blog? Why not share it with the world?

One of the fastest-growing financial crimes in the United States is synthetic fraud. Synthetic identities are created by using a combination of real information, such as real social security numbers, and fictitious information, such as false names or addresses. Fraudsters around the globe are defrauding institutions by creating synthetic identities that act like legitimate accounts and can often be missed by legacy fraud detection systems.

There are several obstacles with stopping this kind of fraud — the biggest issue is that fraudsters will “piggyback” onto an actual account with a real user. Oftentimes bad actors will make small financial moves that could potentially go undetected and then eventually use the stolen social security number to defraud the real user out of large sums of money. 

Document tampering is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a process where the physical properties of an official document are altered. This could include erasure, alteration, or substitution. 

How we detect document tampering

With over 9,500 government documents in our database, Veriff can verify documents nearly anywhere in the world. Our AI-powered technology is able to detect whether a government-issued identity document has certain correct features that could detect a counterfeit or altered document. 

For example, the following are some of the more prominent parts of IDs that we analyze to catch fakes:

  • Security features
  • Material integrity
  • Portrait photo inconsistencies
  • Data cross-referencing 
  • Format validation
  • Data dependencies 
  • Font detection
  • Handwriting validation
  • And more

Our AI relies on an in-house trained Machine Learning model that detects and matches the presented document in the session with the specimen in our database. When a document is fake or tampered with, the session is declined. 

How we detect synthetic fraud 

Veriff uses a multi-prong solution to prevent synthetic fraud. We use device and network fingerprinting, which allows Veriff to apply behavioral analytics to catch fraud. 

Also, crosslinking takes behavioral analytics further. Veriff groups verification sessions together and points out risk factors based on user behavior that may seem abnormal and provides that data to our clients. Crosslinking analyzes the person, network, and more.

Additionally, velocity abuse prevents the same person, device, or document (depending on the configuration of the decision engine) from opening multiple accounts, which is common in financial services. 

What Does Veriff Do? 

Veriff is a market leader in identity verification in KYC services. Our technology leverages more than 1,000 data points to give transparent responses and provide security and trust for businesses. While our competitors have focused on document data extraction, Veriff offers the most accurate online identity verification service

We leverage device, network, document, video, biometric and behavioral information to properly utilize speed, accuracy, and fraud prevention in the verification process.  

Call to action

Ashley Nelson

Ashley Nelson

Sales Copywriter

Ashley is our Sales and Marketing Copywriter. Ashley joined the team to churn out engaging content and spread Veriff’s message far and wide, as well as help meld all the voices of Veriff into one, cohesive tone.

Stay up to date on Veriff news, product updates, and more

Veriff will only use the information you provide to share blog updates. You can unsubscribe any time. For more details, check out our privacy policy.

Related articles

A new expression for Veriff: the story behind our enhanced brand identity  


A new expression for Veriff: the story behind our enhanced brand identity  

We are thrilled to unveil Veriff’s new brand identity, reflecting our next stage of growth and our mission to bring real safety, protection and transparency to the internet. Here’s more on why we did it.

Enablers Act expands anti-money laundering requirements

KYC news

Enablers Act expands anti-money laundering requirements

At present, financial institutions such as banks are required to investigate their clients and their sources of wealth or funds. But, until now, many other financial gatekeepers have been exempted from so-called ‘due diligence rules’.

EU lawmakers say NFT platforms should be subjected to money laundering regulations

KYC news

EU lawmakers say NFT platforms should be subjected to money laundering regulations

If new legislation passes, it will mean that all NFT marketplaces will have to assess the risk of illicit finance flowing through their systems and carry out identity checks on new customers and suspicious transactions.