SA ID book 'one of the easiest in world' to forge

March 2003 Security Services & Risk Management

The South African ID book is one of the easiest in the world to forge due to its lack of security features, and with at the very least several thousand such fakes in circulation, has become a serious fraud and security risk for this country.

"South African banks lost nearly R4 billion to fraud last year alone," says Jenny Reid, managing director of GriffithsReid, a corporate security management company which specialises in employee screening and background verification.

"The recent case of Derek Bond, the British pensioner falsely identified by the FBI as one of its most wanted men, has once again highlighted the appalling lack of security in ID books the world over," Reid says. Bond was detained on the strength of the real fugitive having assumed his British identity in an international ID theft scam.

"Stealing a foreign national's ID requires a degree of skill due to their built in security measures, but the South African ID books can be forged by simply cutting out the bearer's photograph and replacing it with another," she says.

The new driver's licence and SA passport are far more secure forms of identification, as they carry a large number of cross check security features, in marked contrast to the ID book.

"In reality, the South African ID book is fast becoming one of more unreliable means of identification, and we recommend to our clients that they ask for more than just an ID book when employing a person, or doing business with unknown people," says Reid. Fake ID books can be purchased for as little as R100 a piece on the black market, she adds.

Although there are no accurate estimates of the number of faked ID books in circulation, police figures of reported ID book thefts, when added to reports of ID book scams uncovered in the Department of Home Affairs - where corrupt officials sell new ID books - means that there are at the very least tens of thousands of fake ID books in circulation.

Reid says that there are two ways to prevent this sort of fraud from being perpetrated: firstly, start using more safe forms of identification such as the driver's licence and passport, and secondly, by immediately reporting the theft of ID books to police and financial institutions.

For more information contact Jenny Reid, GriffithsReid, 011 786 8556.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

30 years of business continuity
May 2019, ContinuitySA, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management
ContinuitySA is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to CEO Michael Davies about the changes he has seen in the business continuity and disaster recovery markets.

The benefits of background screening
May 2019, iFacts, Managed Integrity Evaluation , Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management
Companies need to be more vigilant about the people they employ by making sure comprehensive background screening checks are conducted.

Simplifying fire detection system installations
May 2019, Elvey Security Technologies , Editor's Choice, Fire & Safety, Security Services & Risk Management
A fire detection system needs to be selected with extreme care, as is selecting an installer that not only understands the various technologies employed in fire detection, but that also has the necessary accreditations and certifications.

Security workforce management platform
May 2019, Secutel Technologies , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
Secutel Technologies says the South African market is excited about body-cam technology and clearly sees the potential benefits.

Solar energy storage systems
May 2019, Specialised Battery Systems , Products, Security Services & Risk Management
Specialised Battery Systems has a range of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) available, both standard and custom designed to suit customer requirements.

Lightning protection insurance for thatched roofs
May 2019, DEHN Africa , Security Services & Risk Management
DEHNinsure offers surge and lightning protection insurance for thatched roofed buildings using its high-voltage-resistant insulated (HVI) technology.

MIE background screening findings
May 2019, Managed Integrity Evaluation , Security Services & Risk Management
Candidate and supplier screening prioritised amidst murky market risks in MIE Background Screening Index Report for 2018.

Control room software selection
May 2019, Intelligent Monitoring , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Security Services & Risk Management
Wolfgang Kirsch discusses what customers should look for when selecting a control room management platform.

Insiders: who are they?
May 2019 , Security Services & Risk Management, Cyber Security
The 2018 Insider Threat Report by Cybersecurity Insiders reports that more than 51% of companies are concerned about unintentional insider attacks.

Are background checks worth the cost?
May 2019, LexisNexis , Security Services & Risk Management
Often, the added cost and effort serve as an understandable deterrent to business owners who should consider skipping the background check process altogether.