Press Release: Majority of people are unable to spot fake passports new research reveals

by Simon Kelman

22 February 2017, London, UK – Leading identity confirmation service, HooYu, today released the results of new research examining how well the general public are able to identify fake passports.

The research shows how the public is at risk. In a new study conducted by Atomik research, a sample of 1,013 people were asked to identify if a passport was a real document or a fake. The results showed that 68% of the time people are unable to correctly identify a fake passport.

The research also found when questioned, people over the age of 55 feel the least confident about their ability to spot a forged document with less than 5% thinking they would be able to. Those in the 25 -34 age bracket proved most confident despite this only 25% felt confident they would be able to identify a forgery.

The results are particularly worrying given that in today’s digital age more of our friendships, relationships and transactions are occurring online with people we need to trust. Transactions such as buying a car, going on a date, renting a property, or even a small business owner needing to carry out a right-to-work check are all targets for scams and fraudulent activity. Currently the lack of knowledge and access to identity verification tools means that people do not have the resources they need to protect themselves from professional fraudsters.

The latest statistics reveal that fraud is at an all time high. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau revealed that in the UK last year 3,889 victims handed over a record £39m to fraudsters assuming fake identities in online dating fraud. Along with investment scams, advance fee inheritance scams and recruitment scams, people are under continuous attack from scammers and fraudsters.

In response, HooYu has launched the first service giving the general public and small business owners’ real-time access to the same level of identity document verification as multinational companies and governments. People can now be safe in the knowledge that identity documents have been properly verified allowing them to protect themselves when they are suspicious of somebody they are dealing with.

HooYu can be used by the general public when making a big purchase, carrying out right-to-work checks on an employee, and even by landlords conducting right-to-rent checks. Anyone can use the HooYu website to get a verification report on the identity document of the person they are dealing with. HooYu gives the user a comprehensive analysis report which identifies if the document is legitimate or has been forged, tampered with, or is a fake.

David Pope HooYu Marketing Director, commented;

“HooYu is successfully protecting individuals and small businesses from financial loss by providing assurance that you know who you’re dealing with. Our research shows that criminals are using fakes that are impossible to identify with the naked eye. We are proud that now everyone can now use HooYu to check documents are real. Since launching, we’ve helped individuals and small business owners carry out checks to protect them from investment, romance, rental and employment fraud.”

Here are HooYu’s five tips to stay safe and beat the fraudsters and scammers:

- If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Ask your friends and family for their opinion before you act

- If you’re on a dating site and they suggest you start to converse outside of the site or the app you’re using then be on your guard

- If you’re dealing with a potential investment opportunity then check to see if they’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

- Always ask for an identity document to prove their identity, if they refuse then you have your answer and you’ve probably had a lucky escape

- Use HooYu to check their identity document, most people aren’t experts at identifying fake ID documents!

HooYu does this without the need to share sensitive personal information or have it stored in an unsecure way. It is simple to use and combines information such as passports, social media identity data, other ID documents and facial biometric checks to prove that a person is really who they say they are. Once a verification has been performed, HooYu deletes all identity data and ID documents retaining only a record of what data has been checked.

For the first time, the general public and small business owners have access to the same level of identity document verification technology as multinational companies and governments.

Simon Kelman