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Are You Alert to Counterfeit ID Documents?

The DBS fraud team work with Umbrella Bodies like Personnel Checks and employers to identify and prosecute people who attempt to gain employment using counterfeit identity documents.

The DBS take fraud extremely seriously and in their latest correspondence, revealed they have helped in a number of successful prosecutions in recent months, mostly due to the use of counterfeit passports to obtain a clear DBS certificate.

The certificates can then be presented to a potential employer in order to gain employment under a fraudulent name or perhaps conceal cautions and/or convictions.

The DBS have also been able to support the police in identifying suspected individuals using alias address information.

Employers are encouraged to continue to be alert to counterfeit documents and if you suspect any documents presented to you may be counterfeit or that a DBS Certificate has been tampered with, additional checks may be necessary.

Don’t forget you can double check the security features of a DBS certificate online.


Verifying ID Documents

The responsibilities of an ID verifier are to;

  • Check and validate the information provided by the applicant on the application form
  • Establish the true identity of the applicant through the examination of a range of documents
  • Make sure the applicant provides details of all names by which they have been known
  • Make sure the applicant provides details of all addresses for the last five years
  • Check that the application form is fully completed and the information is accurate

If there are any discrepancies in the information provided by the applicant and/or the identity documents supplied, and fraud is not suspected, please ask the applicant to clarify. If you don’t this may compromise the integrity of the DBS service and introduce risk to recruitment or licensing arrangements.

Please note: You must not attempt to amend the application form without the applicants’ knowledge and agreement. Doing this will invalidate the declaration by the applicant and may breach data protection legislation.


ID Checking Guidance

Applicants are required to provide various forms of identity documents in order to complete a DBS check. You can see all the options of acceptable documentation online.

Here’s some help when checking applicant’s ID documents during the DBS Checking process;


  • You must only accept valid, current and original documentation
  • You must not accept photocopies
  • You must not accept documentation printed from the internet e.g. internet bank statements
  • You should in the first instance, seek documents with photographic identity (e.g. passport, new style driving licence, etc.) and for this to be compared against the applicant’s likeness
  • All documents must be in the applicant’s current name
  • One document must confirm the applicant’s date of birth
  • You should not accept the foreign equivalent of an identity document if that document is listed as ‘(UK)’ on the list of valid identity documents

What should you do if you suspect false identity or documents?

  1. Do not proceed with the application process.
  2. Contact Personnel Checks/your DBS provider immediately


Previous Names

You must ensure the applicant declares all previous name changes and provides documentary proof to support the change. If the applicant is unable to provide proof, you should hold a probing discussion with the applicant about the reasons why before considering validating their identity.

The DBS have confirmed that if the applicant presents a birth certificate, passport or driving licence these documents do not need to be in the new name as they don’t update straight away. Any other document would need to be in the new name. It is best practice for the ID Verifier to take responsibility to see documents to prove the change of name, a marriage certificate or deed Poll confirmation can be used as proof of name.


Address History

  • You must see at least one document to confirm the applicant’s current address in accordance with the guidance
  • You must provide a full and continuous address history covering the last five years. Where possible, you should seek documentation to confirm this address history
  • You should cross-reference the applicant’s address history with any other information provided as part of the licensing application
  • A document from each of the groups should be included only once in the document count. For example, don’t accept two bank statements as two of the required documents, if they are from the same bank


If you require further guidance on ID checking or suspect you may have been presented with fraudulent documentation, please contact Personnel Checks on 01254 355688. 

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