The size and scope of transactions conducted with the public by the different levels of government is enormous. The U.S. Federal government is far and away the largest single organization in the United States. It’s administrative, military, procurement, justice, treasury, legislative and law enforcement arms perform hundreds of thousands of transactions with members of the public, daily. Factor in the 51 individual state and territorial governments, and the thousands of county and municipal entities, and it can be seen that this segment of the economy is rife with opportunities to be defrauded via counterfeit documents.
In many cases, Federal, State and local governments operate similar services – for example, courthouses, law enforcement and jails/prisons – and thus have a need for similar solutions. In other cases, each different level of government fraud prevention needs are unique.
At the municipal level, matters such as electrical utilities, libraries, and parking enforcement provide opportunities for payment fraud to occur. However, in many of these offices, identity validation is also required for such tasks as accepting passport applications, or logging the ID’s of persons accessing public records.
At the state level, more complex operations, such as Superior Courts, Motor Vehicle Departments, liquor retailing e.g. “state bottle shops”, and State Licensing afford exposure to both payment fraud and fraudulent identification. As the De Facto issuer of national ID cards (in the form of State Driver Licenses), the states are under a tremendous burden to validate identity and to maintain records of the documents presented to support an identity file. As the body which licenses and credentials a wide range of professionals – from construction tradesmen through state bar members and medical practitioners – it is also vitally important to validate individual identity to confirm that the those presenting themselves are in fact really that person.
The scope of Federal Government operations is too large to easily summarize. However, key areas of counterfeit document concern are: Customs & Border Protection, access control to secured Federal Buildings, issuance of Social Security Cards (the secondary National ID Card), and centers where high–volume “retail” transactions occur – such as Post Offices.
Read more about fraud and how to prevent it by selecting your government agency below.