U.S. airport officers trained on recognizing illicit identity documents

29 July 2021
INTERPOL and Onfido provide training on detecting fake identity documents

LYON, France – U.S. border control and immigration officers have been trained in the latest security document examination techniques to help enhance border security checks.

Instructors from INTERPOL’s Counterfeit Currency and Security Documents (CCSD) unit and its partner Onfido delivered the three-day (26 – 28 July) virtual document security examination training course to 30 officers from News York’s JFK and Newark international airports.

The course trained participants on the latest security features embedded in official government identity documents and provided practical exercises for identifying fraudulent documents including counterfeits, forgeries, and fraudulently-obtained documents.

The use of INTERPOL global policing capabilities was also high on the agenda, including:

  • its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, which holds some 100 million records on a range of documents such as passports, identity cards, and visa stamps
  • Edison (Electronic Documentation and Information System on Investigation Networks), which provides examples of genuine travel documents, in order to help identify fakes
  • the Digital INTERPOL Alert Library – Document (Dial-Doc), which allows countries to issue global alerts based on newly detected forms of document counterfeiting.

“I was honoured to welcome the 30 Customs and Border Protection officers from the New York and New Jersey areas to this vital three-day training event,” said the Director of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (USNCB) in Washington DC. “This rigorous and critical training is the result of a successful collaboration between the USNCB, Customs and Border Protection and INTERPOL that will enhance the ability of border officers to recognize counterfeit security and travel documents.”

Michael Van Gestel, Onfido’s Global Head of Fraud, emphasized the importance of the continued partnership with INTERPOL: “Following the success of the training in 2019, we continue our partnership with INTERPOL to share further training on the latest developments in the field of document authenticity verification. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we moved from a physical to an online training format. However, this only highlights the same shift that criminals have experienced over the last year or so. Never before has there been such a focus on online attack vectors, and as criminals continue to innovate, this underscores the importance of unifying our knowledge of both 3D and 2D identity document authentication and to share this unique knowledge in training courses such as this one.”

CCSD Coordinator Daniela Djidrovska said: “Document verification is crucial to ensure that documents are both genuine and belong to the rightful holder. While the examination of identity documents is increasingly being taken over by artificial intelligence, travel documents are designed to be verified by trained personnel using sophisticated forensic document equipment. This joint CCSD-Onfido virtual training provided a vital opportunity to review best practices in the face of the continuous evolution of ID document fraud.“

The three-day training also featured a number of incident case studies as well as country presentations.