Identity and travel document fraud

Real-time checks against our databases help law enforcement spot false documents

The different types of document fraud

Criminals and terrorists often make fraudulent use of both fake and genuine identity and travel documents in order to carry out their illegal activities:

False documents:

  • Counterfeits – an unauthorized reproduction of a genuine document
  • Forgeries – alteration of a genuine document
  • Pseudo documents – documents which are not officially recognized.

Genuine documents:

  • Fraudulently obtained genuine documents
  • Genuine documents misused by an impostor.

True or false?

We provide a number of specialized tools for the law enforcement community to help detect fraudulent documents - technical databases, online reference tools, a forensic laboratory and tailored training programmes. We also work with partners in different sectors to improve the level of security of official documents.

Thousands of different identity and travel documents exist worldwide so it can be a challenging task to spot the real thing. Our technical solutions allow member countries to conduct first-line cross-checks against our databases and reference resources at airports, sea ports and border crossings. 

  • The SLTD database (travel and identity documents) contains records of travel documents that have been reported as lost, stolen, stolen blank and revoked.
  • FIELDS provides visual information on the key markers that can indicate a counterfeit or forged document.
  • EdisonTD is a reference tool that contains images of genuine travel and identity documents.
  • DISCS is a database containing certificates of civil status such as birth, marriage, death, identity and citizenship.

Forensic laboratory

The Counterfeit Currency and Security Documents laboratory provides forensic support and expertise to law enforcement agencies investigating document fraud. These services include:

  • Sourcing, analysing and storing specimens of newly issued travel documents;
  • Uploading descriptions and images of specimens of travel documents into EdisonTD;
  • Producing technical analytical reports.


The INTERPOL Counterfeit and Security Documents Working Group provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. The objective is to bring together stakeholders from the different fields concerned, including the law enforcement community, private industry, government agencies and non-profit organizations.