Selfie spoofing becomes popular identity document fraud technique

Document image-of-image was the most prevalent identity (ID) document fraud technique in 2023, occurring in 63% of all IDs that were rejected, according to Socure.

identity document selfie spoofing

Selfie spoofing and impersonations dominate document-related identity fraud

Document image-of-image occurs when the user takes a photograph or uses a screenshot image of an ID, rather than providing a live capture of the document. Document headshot tampering takes place when a user purposefully manipulates facial imagery.

And, selfie spoofing entails taking a picture of an image on a computer screen, printed on a piece of paper or even an actual headshot on a different document – often carried out to steal identities or fraudulently access systems.

The report assesses document verification-related account openings across a variety of industries including online gaming, marketplaces, lending, and credit cards.

Document and biometric verification – the process of verifying the authenticity of a government-issued ID, including driver licenses and passports and matching it to selfie – is a critical step for organizations needing to verify a customer’s age and identity when opening an account. Common applications include verifying a driver license when renting a car or confirming someone purchasing alcohol online is 21 or older.

Fraud surrounding IDs has become pervasive, accounting for 70% of all fraudulent verifications evaluated by Socure’s document verification solution. The other 30% of fraudulent captures is biometric-related fraud, including selfie spoofing and impersonations (15%) as well as a mismatch between the headshot on the ID and the selfie (15%).

Selfie-spoofers target seniors at nearly 4x the rate

A concerning trend, selfie spoofing can be carried out quickly and easily thanks to the availability of public social media profiles – and unlike document image-of-image, it almost always represents malicious intent. Fraudsters simply use images posted by others online as the “selfie” to go with a recently stolen ID acquired from other means.

“A perfect storm exists today in which the digital economy and social media have provided exponentially more opportunity for fraudsters to carry out identity document fraud,” said Eric Levine, SVP, Head of Document Verification at Socure.

“From car rentals, to liquor deliveries to accessing government benefits, verifying identities has become an integral part of our economy and it’s crucial that we prevent deep fakes, fake IDs and stolen and fabricated identities from entering the digital ecosystem. This will require us to fight AI with AI using a multi-layered security approach that combines document verification, biometrics analysis and auxiliary signals to detect the most advanced ID fraud attempts of today and tomorrow,” added Levine.

49% of all selfie spoofing attacks are carried out on users in the age 50 and above population. Older demographics typically have greater assets—more to steal—and are often less tech savvy, thus more susceptible to fraud.

Idaho and New Hampshire rank as the top two states with the highest verification rejection rates, indicating high document fraud. The techniques seen most often were document image-of-image and selfie-to-headshot mismatches.

When the location of a device used to create a new account and the state on their submitted ID documents don’t match, there is nearly twice the rate of fraud. Florida, Texas and Georgia were the top three state IDs with the highest volume of out-of-state verifications.

Don't miss