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Nationally recognized fraud expert Frank Abagnale endorses report highlighting significant problems and recommendations for document security
 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 27, 2009) – The Document Security Alliance (DSA) issued a “Report to the Nation” drawing attention to significant issues about the security of official documents. In a cover letter to Congress, fraud expert Frank Abagnale writes “I’m often asked if technology has made it easier or harder for criminals to perpetrate their crimes. The plain truth is that computers, color desktop printers, and the overall speed of business have made it much easier for criminals to commit fraud today than just a few years ago.” 
 
The report identifies risks and recommendations across seven categories of secure documents: Vital Records Identity Documents; State-Issued Drivers Licenses; Secure Government Documents that Support Identity; Employee ID Cards; Paychecks; Academic Credentials; and Prescription Fraud. 
 
Some key findings:
 
Vital Records Identity Documents, such as Birth Certificates, are often called breeder, or source, documents as they facilitate the acquisition of other identity documents. According to the report, 15 states still allow open access to birth records, releasing informational copies to anyone who requests them. 
 
State-Issued Drivers Licenses become source documents for obtaining additional documents. Following 9/11, where terrorists bribed a department of motor vehicles employee to issue authentic drivers licenses, states have taken increased actions to protect these documents.  DSA recommends further upgrades to security such as: cross-jurisdictional authentication, cross-database application verification, and systems for facial recognition.
 
Employee ID cards hold more sensitive personal information than ever before. Cards frequently have a photo, full name and other personally identifiable attributes. Most establishments require government-issued identification in order to issue Employee ID cards; however, this is not a legal requirement in the private sector. DSA recommends the continued pursuit of federal Personal Identification Verification (PIV) requirements.
 
Paycheck and Check fraud are longstanding problems. While issuing banks have made great strides in embedded security features, the report highlights issues with smaller credit-issuing entities such as car dealerships and paycheck advance services. DSA recommends that all checks from financial institutions be required to contain sophisticated overt and covert anti-counterfeit features.
 
For a copy of the Report to the Nation visit http://www.documentsecurityalliance.org.
 
The Document Security Alliance is a not-for-profit organization created in the months following 9/11 whose mission is to enhance national economic, personal and homeland security documents and procedures to combat fraud, terrorism, identity theft and other illegal acts of document fraud. DSA members represent a broad spectrum of government agencies and private sector organizations involved in document security.
 
Frank Abagnale, whose life as a former check forger was the subject of the film “Catch Me if You Can,” now works on the other side of the law as a consultant to the FBI and other organizations on document security through his firm, Abagnale and Associates (www.abagnale.com). 
Contact Us: info@documentsecurityalliance.org