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Document fraud is the third largest criminal industry in the world – but are we doing enough about it?

In 2016, only one in three decision makers had solutions in place to detect document fraud concerning incoming documents. And yet, 64% of decision makers admitted that the need to manage the risk of document fraud is on their agenda.

With the rise of digital technology, more and more documents are being exchanged through digital channels – which means document fraud is touching every aspect of the business. From verifying client contracts to ensuring recruitment candidates are supplying genuine credentials, businesses are increasingly vulnerable. And all the evidence suggests that most of them are unprepared and unprotected.

Document fraud, An outside threat

Unsurprisingly, document fraud is primarily an issue when it comes to incoming documents. Few transactions within in a business – from setting up a client account to inducting a new employee – take place without some form of document submission. The volume of documents flowing through the business is growing, and as a result, 40% of decision makers feel they need to do more to authenticate incoming documents.

So, how do they begin? For many companies, the knee-jerk reaction has been to insist on manually processing paper documents, in the hope that they will prove more authentic than their digital counterparts. And yet, paper documents are in no way free from fraud: they can easily be scanned, retouched and modified thanks to the easy availability of scanning and retouching software. There’s no escaping the fact that every incoming document represents a risk.

The good news is that there are solutions out there to help mitigate fraud risks. These include tools for checking the consistency of information and for querying internal and external repositories for potential fraud. Combined with document capture, these can help greatly minimise the risk of document fraud.

The first step, however, is to develop a full understanding of current and emerging risks. As the democratisation of digital technologies and the associated tools make it ever easier to manipulate documents, document fraud is becoming easier and businesses must arm themselves against it.

Our latest white paper - Digital Technology, a Weapon against Document Fraud – tackles the issue of document fraud head on and is essential reading for any company seeking to address this issue.