Security: Counterfeit Indentification Raises Homeland Security Concerns, Testimony by Ronald D. Malfi, Director, Office of Special Investigations, before the Committee on Homeland Security   [open pdf - 81KB]

GAO testified about how homeland security is vulnerable to identity fraud. Today, counterfeit identification is easily produced and used to create fraudulent identities. Tests GAO has performed over the past 3 years demonstrate that counterfeit identification documents can be used to (1) enter the United States; (2) purchase firearms; (3) gain access to government buildings and other facilities; (4) obtain genuine identification for both fictitious and stolen identities; and (5) obtain social security numbers for fictitious identities. In conducting these tests, GAO created fictitious identities and counterfeit identification documents. GAO's work leads to three basic conclusions: (1) government officials and others generally did not recognize that the documents presented were counterfeit; (2) many government officials were not alert to the possibility of identity fraud and some failed to follow security procedures and (3) identity verification procedures are inadequate. The weaknesses found during this investigation clearly show that border inspectors, motor vehicle departments, and firearms dealers need to have the means to verify the identity and authenticity of the driver's licenses that are presented to them. In addition, government officials who review identification need additional training in recognizing counterfeit documents. Further, these officials also need to be more vigilant when searching for identification fraud.

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Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
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