Today I finally wrote a more comprehensive article on the use of fake passports in Russian and Ukrainian scams. I always get a lot of questions from visitors of my site on this topic.
Creation of fake passports: changing names, serial numbers, and photos
Use of fake passports: finding a money receiver, creating a false identity, creating a false passport, receiving money
Text of the article is reprinted below.
Creation of fake passports
Scammers obtain a scanned copy of a blank passport, and then use PhotoShop or a similar tool to type in the passport holder info. Depending on their skills, sometimes the passports look pretty obviously fake, and sometimes they look very much like authentic passports.
In less than an hour, one skilled computer user can create 10 passports showing the same person with 10 different names.
Changing serial numbers
PhotoShop program can also allow the scammer easily change the numbers in the passport serial number, if needed
Changing photos and names
A skilled scammer will have no problem inserting a new photo and a new name into an old passport template.
How can you determine if a passport is genuine or false?
Unless you have very good knowledge of the formatting requirements for Russian and Ukrainian passports, it will be difficult for you to determine whether a passport looks genuine or false.
If you received a copy of a Russian or Ukrainian passport, and you would like to check the passport validity, visit our page Passport Validity Check.
Use of falsified passports
Selecting a money receiver. Before the scammer contacts any intended victims, he or she selects a money receiver - someone who will take the risk of going to the bank to collect the money that the scam will generate.
The money receiver is usually a woman. The scammer may be a women or a man. Most dating scams in Russia are run by man.
Creating a false persona. For the purpose of the scam, the scammer creates a false identity (FID). The FID has true first and last name, which match the name of the money receiver. Other data such as date of birth, mailing address, and personal history are created by the scammer. The FID is the imaginary character who corresponds with potential victims of the scam.
Creation and use of false passport. The scammer creates a passport with the same data as FID. The FID passport is provided to the intended victim.
Receiving the money. If the victim sends money, only the first and last names are needed to perform a money transfer. The money receiver goes to the bank with her (or his) authentic, real passport. The money receiver does not use the FID passport at the bank. The only person who sees the fake ID is the scammer and the victim. The bank workers see the money receiver's real passport.
Reusing the passport. As soon we the scam is completed, the scammer creates a new fictitious persona with a new date of birth, new story, and new address. The only thing that is left the same is the name of the money receiver. The scammer creates new passport with new FID details, and starts to select another victim.
SCAM DETECTION AND PREVENTION SERVICES
- ScamPrint Analysis
- Registered Address Verification
- Online Photo Search
- Passport Validity Verification