Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

Rising Social Media Scams in 2020 Calling for Digital Identity Verification

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Social media was a simple place for interaction a few years back. People valued it for its security and anonymity, but unfortunately, 2020  faced the opposite side of what was expected from it. Social media is not just a place to keep children busy with cartoon videos now. 

Social media is a big industry that provides a smooth networking space for everyone. On the other hand, it is also unknowingly facilitating the proliferation of spams and trolls. Harassment cases and scams are significantly increasing. But why are scams on social networking platforms drastically increasing? A freehand and lack of a robust verification system is the main reason. Everybody can join these platforms with fake social media identities. 

According to 2020 statistics, there are 3.5 billion social media users and a significant number of profiles are created with fake names and documents. These accounts threaten other users with hacking, social media identity theft, and other cybersecurity issues. Spammers have thousands of fake profiles that become an obstacle for legitimate users to interact and expand networks. Furthermore, fake posts and junk advertisements do nothing more than diverting attention and manipulating the thoughts of innocent users.

Professional networking sites like LinkedIn are also not secure since fraudsters post fake job ads to attract desperate job seekers. The increasing scams on social media have led to plenty of government regulations for the security of the users and their identities. However, the authorities cannot blame someone without getting their social media identities verified in the first place. 

Some Facts and Figures

This section gives an overview of social media usage and its penetration at a global level. In recent years, social networking applications have shown a clear shift towards handy devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Easy access to these platforms, therefore, have increased the usage via mobile devices. Social media is one of the most defining phenomena of the present environment that is reshaping the entire world. Statista shows that the global social penetration rate has reached about 45%. Among these, North America and East Asia have the highest penetration rate i.e. 70% and Northern Europe with 67%. Also, in the future, this percentage does not seem to go down anyhow because the survey shows that the number of expected social networking platform users in the United States would be 257.4 million by 2023. 

According to a research paper by IEEE published in 2019 named “Cyber Security in Social Media: Challenges and the Way Forward”, the number of active social media users in 2019 is estimated to be 2.77 billion and a forecast shows an increase that sums it up to 3.2 billion by the year 2021. The same paper highlights the threats in social media platforms that correspond to the impersonation of friends and celebrities, cyberbullying, and phishing scams. This increasing trend and penetration of the population into it shows a tremendous increase in social platforms’ security flaws. Lax rules of these platforms are inviting fraudsters to poison the cybersecurity triad i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Lack of security measures gives birth to attacks such as CSRF or XSS that lead to data breaches.

Social Media Scams 2020

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Frauds in the Social Media World

The section covers some major frauds in the social media world that every user must beware of. Social media has penetrated every corner of the world, and it is now a fundamental source of communication. Here are some of the common frauds on social media platforms. 

Hidden URLs

Short URLs may not be suspicious for anyone, but they are now a threat to social media users. Beware of URLs that have hidden locations. They are common on twitter and LinkedIn, and they can innocently redirect you to the relevant web page. However, other social media platforms may not always look out for such issues. Fraudsters can post a trending news headline and redirect you to a scam page. Acquiring your social media identity and other personal information will not be a problem. 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are a new form of social media identity theft. These attacks were common in emails, but advancements in technology has allowed scammers to perform phishing attacks on social media as well. “Someone just uploaded weird photos of you from the party last night.” What will you do now? As a reflex, you will immediately click on the link, and it will redirect you to some other platform. It can be a twitter page that will ask for credentials. As soon as you enter your account details, the spammer can use your social media identity and other personal information for fraud.  


Catfishing is a kind of online harassment where spammers search for people desperately looking for their special one on social networking sites. Spammers create fake accounts with an eye-catching picture and false social media identity to begin a relationship. They earn the trust of the other person and ask for money after some time. 

“Who Visited Your Profile” Scam

It is always good to know who visited your profile. Someone might call you for a job or just become good virtual friends in a while. Fraudsters take complete advantage of this curiosity and create ads, for example, ‘click on this link to find out who viewed your profile today’ or ‘visit this link to know your secret admirers.’ As soon as you click the link, you are redirected to a new page that asks for your personal information or credentials of the platform. Stealing your identity is not a problem then. 

Know about the top five key identity verification market trends here.

Digital Identity Verification: An Effective Measure for Social Media Security

Individuals alone cannot always figure out these scams, however, social media platforms can restrict fraudsters from creating fake accounts for harassment and illegal use. Social media platforms that assume personal identification an overkill for social users would now be realizing that how many spammers are facilitated through these platforms, and how they are disrupting the integrity and privacy of online users. Again, spammers are not only posting junk information but exploit weaknesses of the system to damage in the best possible way among which phishing attacks and malware/malicious executables injection is the one. 

Lack of social media identity verification service on age-restricted websites affects both the social media platforms and their users. Online users below an adult age are not verified and use the applications without any restriction. Or some websites do apply age affirmation pages or checkboxes for age verification that actually does not serve the purpose of age verification and can easily be deceived by minors.

Online Age Verification

In the past few years, age verification has become a regulatory requirement that is necessary for social media platforms to consider. Taking advantage of technological advancements, social media firms can take in place various solutions that could help in identifying the individuals and restrict services if they are not for children. 

Current verification methods can easily be falsified which require obvious changes in digital practices of verification. Many social networking platforms are now using age verification services that verify using document verification if the online user has misstated their age. Those social media identities would immediately be flagged with the status of unverified as they do not lie under the age limit that could access the networking platform. 

Ideally, social media platforms are required to collect minimized data from customers. For instance, if they want to make sure whether someone is above 18 years, then the individual would have to share a proof of their social media identity in the form of an official ID document, etc. The company should ensure that the individual is above the defined age and avoid collecting much of the information from the user’s uploaded document.  

Know more about age verification at Age Verification – Does Your Business Need It?

Video KYC

Technological advancements have made everybody’s life convenient, including fraudsters. Dodging verification checks may not be a challenge anymore. Moreover, the young ones can provide wrong information to skip age verification. Video KYC allows socializing sites to verify all the clients on a live video call. Verifying social media identities through video-based KYC can enhance the result of social media verification service. 

Digital Social Media Identity Verification

In social media platforms, it is quite easy to create a fake account/profile to impersonate a social media identity online. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or some dating sites, fraudsters find all of these a hot target and conduct malevolent activities there. With single digital identity verification, misuse of social platforms can be crushed. 

Focusing on just collecting data whether it is true or false should not be the goal of social networking platforms. Allowing legitimate traffic can help provide better search results. Stuffing fake social media identities affect the huge population and hence the platform reputation. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms as the underlying technology, facial recognition systems, and online document verification for social media verification service can help maintain an honest community with much more healthy working and networking opportunities. 

What’s the big deal, if a social media identity can be verified within seconds? But it would really be one if your platform is in the spotlight due to data breach that compromises the security of millions…

Have questions about how Shufti Pro can help you secure your social media platform?

Identification, Verification and Authentication – Cut from the same cloth

Identification, Verification and Authentication – Cut from the same cloth

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The modern era of technology has brought so many frauds to light. The digitized world has urged business to take measures to stay at a safe side. Increasing ratio of data breaches, compliance regulations, and identity theft have made it an uphill task for businesses to establish trust online. But due to these reasons it’s more important than ever to have a sound verification system. The ubiquity of users on the internet has significantly raised the number of digital frauds. Due to many available digital identity solutions manual checks have long been forgotten.

From the start of the identification of an individual to the recurring authentication procedure to validate that the person trying to access the system is the same person you think he is. Identification, verification, and authentication play a crucial role in keeping online channels free from fraudsters, to comply with KYC/AML regulations, and to provide enhanced customer experience. In this blog we’ll be discussing the differences between identification, verification and authentication in context of online identities. 

What is Identification?

Identification means the procedure of someone claiming to be a certain person. They can identify themselves with their names. It is simply like we assign different names to the folders in our computer and then differentiate or identify each folder by its name. For instance, when a user goes to a bank to open an account he can identify himself with his name, email address, or phone number on form. Same is the case with online shopping, when purchasing something online by entering your credit card detail and billing address you are giving an identification of you. 

Using identification process alone is like asking someone what is your name or who are you and considering the information as truthful and taking the answer as face value. Identification alone is never adequate in this world of fraudsters. Having someone declare their identity without actually verifying it is nothing more than a suffice. How can we be sure that the person who is on the other side of the computer is who he says he is? That is where verification comes on the stage. 

What is Verification?

Verification is something more than just asking who you are. It takes another level and validates if you are actually who you say you are. This step provides a high degree of confidence that the identity is accurate. Identity verification process is basically building bridges between who someone claims to be and who he really is. It establishes a trustworthy link to embed into the onboarding or account opening process. 

The process starts with the verification of government issued ID cards/ documents. With the use of document verification experts and latest technologies like OCR for automated data extraction and machine learning one can confirm that the provided document is authentic and valid. It can be validated if the document is fake or tampered. So verification is the next step to actually ensure that the provided information is right and accurate. 

It takes effort to verify someone’s identity to a high degree of certainty. If a business does not have stringent standards to verify an identity they can rely on traditional methods of verification such as knowledge-based verification. But such information is less reliable these days due to the prevalence of private data on the dark web. Such businesses lacking proper verification solutions are at the risk of falling into the pit of fraudsters as they do not know who they are actually dealing with. At the time when businesses want to provide a frictionless onboarding process, they may cut corners and want a low barrier to entry. Social media accounts, for instance, ask the user only to provide email address, username, password, and phone number for good measures. This information is not sufficient unless it is properly validated. 

The verification requirements are more stringent for online bank account opening though. In the financial sector there are numerous regulatory acts to prevent scammers from opening false bank accounts for criminal activities like money laundering and terrorist financing. Businesses are beginning to make a shift to biometric technology to verify customer’s identity at the time of onboarding to comply with regulations. Only by clubbing identification with verification can you be confident that you know who you are dealing with in the future.

What is Authentication?

Verification is a one time process, but once verified identities should be authenticated each time the individual is accessing the system. If you know someone you can authenticate him by looking at him but in this digitized world most of the transactions occur online or with people we don’t know personally so businesses need to put a system in place to authenticate the fact that person is who he says he is and not an imposter. Such a system validates that they are the same person who registered for services. Authentication is as simple as providing  credentials such as a password which is associated with a certain username.

There are certain number and quality factors incorporated to strengthen an authentication system. The higher are the factors employed and levels the more efficient is the authentication system. For instance for a social media login you have to provide username and password (things that you know) but for bank account you need to go through a form of authentication (things you have). So the level of authentication differs with different services. 

However the first two types of authentication are no longer counted as valid due to the availability of excessive amounts as a result of massive data breaches. So the most authentic system requires you to validate things you are by verifying identities paired with biometric technology using facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, or voice recognition as proof for your authentication.

In a nutshell, these are like stages to actually answer the question that the person is who he says he is. Digital identity verification solutions are paramount to assuring the authenticity of digital identities across public and private sectors and to put a halt on pervasive scams like identity theft, data breaches and other digital scams. These solutions should be a part of both authentication and onboarding of clients.

Enhancing security in the cryptocurrency world with KYC verification

Enhancing security in the cryptocurrency world with KYC verification

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Almost 20 years after the legislation on combating money laundering, regulators around the world are working to create global standards for the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule. These standards are applied now, in particular, to the financial and technological sectors and cryptocurrencies. The technology sector, which began with idealized anonymous peer-to-peer payments, now takes into account the security of traditional finance, which means compliance with KYC regulations.

Even though technology in some aspects has stepped far forward, the attitude of cryptocurrency to KYC was sometimes dismissive, and in some cases criminally negligent. The attitude is changing, but the debate over how the KYC rules and cryptocurrency interact is only flaring up.

What is Know Your Customer verification?

Due to the digitization of the international financial system and the increasingly stringent regulation of the industry, regulatory compliance is on the rise. What used to be a secondary area that occasionally caused a headache for investment bankers and traders is now becoming an important centre for big data processing.

KYC is the process of checking who your customers are, either they are who they claim to be or someone else. In the period from 2000 to 2010 in most jurisdictions: in the USA and Canada, in most European countries, South Africa, Russia, India, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Japan legislation was passed for KYC and AML regulation (anti-money laundering laws). As a result, banks and related financial institutions began to comply with the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are currently considering fiat ramps as the main component of their product. Such changes have led to dependence on banks and payment systems, requiring the same level of compliance that they adhere to.

For almost all organizations involved in payments, KYC rules are designed to prevent criminal activities such as fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, the use of stolen funds, bribery, corruption, and other suspicious financial transactions. Today, most of the KYC rules are associated with strict regulatory compliance, often in the name of protecting consumer rights. But ultimately it is a risk management process.

Often, large companies themselves manage their own KYC rules, this is done by the staff. Small companies, by contrast, outsource verification processes to third parties. Regardless of who is involved in KYC, the process usually does not change. Clients must send identification documents: address, bank statements, and sometimes explain the source of their funds.

Keeping confidential documents is as important as using them. In the pre-cloudy era, banks had to duplicate documents to insure themselves against the loss of a document. Files were copied and stored on various unrelated servers.

Thanks to Amazon and other cloud storage providers, institutions and third-party verification providers now encrypt AES-256 KYC guidelines and securely store them on cloud servers like Amazon S3.

KYC in cryptocurrency

In the early years of Bitcoin and the first cryptocurrency exchanges, the KYC rule was practically not known. Users could make transactions without revealing their identity, often without even creating an account.

Now, most major exchanges and crypto-financial services providers are facing pressure from government agencies and have taken appropriate measures to implement the KYC principles. Users expressed their dissatisfaction, but they are already faced with these processes and accept them in their daily lives. Cryptocurrency is still regarded as an anarchist financial instrument within its community. And yet, when it comes to shareholders, business needs to play by the rules to attract investment and achieve faster growth. 

Despite the work being done to eradicate illegal or unethical behaviour and legitimize the industry, more than two-thirds of cryptocurrency exchanges last year still did not adopt sufficient and adequate KYC principles. 

Those who continue to work without applying the KYC rule will be constantly at risk, and most likely they will have to work in obscure or secret jurisdictions that protect themselves from lawsuits. This approach is unlikely to fill users with confidence. Ultimately, they will gain access to “dark money” and a small number of law-abiding, privacy-conscious consumers. As a result of this, the expansion of the exchange will become virtually impossible.

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) was once seen as the next wave of cryptocurrency exchanges. It is understood that anonymous peer-to-peer trading can solve many problems with centralized exchanges, including the need for KYC rules. Large exchanges have already implemented their versions of DEX, but they have selectively chosen the advantages of decentralization: lower infrastructure costs increased security and user-controlled tools. 

Cryptocurrency is a world-class game. If you want to conquer new markets, you must demonstrate achievements in the field of corporate responsibility. Selective disintegration is the best answer to this challenge. Finding a suitable provider that can ensure uninterrupted operation with minimal cost and guarantee data security is the real challenge that the industry is facing.

The future of KYC

We are currently witnessing the advent of RegTech 3.0, a regulatory technology that digitizes a wide range of regulatory compliance processes. RegTech technology is designed to reduce costs, improve consumer protection and identify risks long before regulatory authorities intervene. This technology uses a combination of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, RPA (robotic automation of technological processes and production) and biometrics, but at the same time signals significant changes in the strategic direction. Instead of an isolated review of consumers and their behaviour, regulatory compliance is now seen as a valuable source of data.

Self-governing identity is another concept actively explored by researchers in the blockchain world who are looking for an alternative to centralized identity on the Internet, where verifiers, not verified ones, are under control.

But for the time being, machine learning and biometrics are considered as the potential technologies to enhance online security and verify the identity of customers. With tangible results in the form of customer satisfaction and data security, investment in better technologies is recognised as a key to an efficient financial ecosystem. By using artificial intelligence for real-time and swift KYC verification, the crypto industry can get a real push. 

Deepfakes on TikTok raise new security concerns

Deepfakes on TikTok raise new security concerns

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Deepfakes have started showing up on the popular video app TikTok, owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet company. It has become one of the most popular social media platforms among the youth and some users are even becoming famous through the application’s wide reach. 

Deepfakes are manipulated videos or other digital representations produced by sophisticated AI technology, that yield false or counterfeit pictures and sounds that seem to be real. It involves the use of powerful techniques such as Artificial intelligence and Machine learning to create visual and audio content that has a high potential to deceive.

Charli D’Amelio, a fifteen-year-old, has due to her amazing choreography and dancing skills, become one of the most popular influencers on TikTok. Some TikTok users are taking up her videos and exploiting her content to attain popularity. This is done through deepfakes. 

For instance, Jesse Richards (@deepfaker), a TikTok user with 7,500 followers, has reposted some of Charli’s videos on his own account. In some of the videos, he has replaced her face with the face of The Office character Michael Scott, for viral purposes. 

Deepfakes are generally considered unethical and are disliked in many communities because they can give a perception that someone said or did something they have actually never done.

Deepfakes technology has raised concerns over how it could be used to spread false information and damage reputations of anyone anywhere. During the Trump-Hillary political conflict, many deepfakes were created for entertainment purposes. Because of the potential drawbacks, Facebook has announced that it would completely remove deepfakes from its platform. 

Furthermore, Twitter also reveals its plans for addressing deepfakes. 

7 Trends in Identity Verification Solutions to look for in 2020

7 Trends in Identity Verification Solutions to look for in 2020

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Internet is an anonymous space where people can hide their identities and come up with bizarre pseudo names. With the increasing online services, identifying identities digitally is becoming crucial than ever before. But verification should be done in a way that does not impact the user’s experience. Security has become the topic of utmost interest for all businesses due to the increasing number of recent high-profile data breaches that have affected millions of consumers and organizations. Identifying individuals online is an essential component of KYC and AML regulations as well. Organizations can benefit from remaining compliant by having proper identity verification checks in place. It also increases customer confidence in the business that they are taking proper measures to protect their private data. 

As identity thieves are becoming more sophisticated, organizations are arming themselves with technologies to protect themselves against viruses, malware, and other frauds.  Identity authentication technology has evolved using biometrics as a stronger security measure to fight back fraudulent activities. As well as unequivocally answer the question that the customer is who he says he is before starting to deal with him. 

The Rise of Identity Verification Solution for businesses

As financial frauds are clamping up, the demand for identity verification technology is also increasing. 50% of stolen identities were reported to be used in various business crimes in recent years.  According to a report, UK based company lost £1.2 billion falling in the pit of frauds last year.  The identity verification market is expected to reach $12.8 billion by 2024 at the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.0% during the upcoming period. As many businesses have drowned and faced major losses due to falling in such frauds so having proper ID check is a must-have. The digitizing of the world has bought so many scams to light and urged businesses to take stringent measures for cybersecurity. Digital communications are preferred as no one has time for face to face interactions so is the case with identity checks. Manual identity verification requires a lot of time and is now a thing of the past. 

The presence of users on the internet has significantly raised the number of digital frauds, causing millions of losses for individuals and businesses every year. Regulatory authorities have made it mandatory for every business to have sound identity authentication checks integrated into their system to put a halt on money laundering, identity theft, financing of terrorists, etc. KYC (know your customer) regulations are there to know who exactly you are dealing with, by verifying their original documents, address, and biometrics.  AML (anti-money laundering) regulations around the world have placed stringent compliance regulations on the investment companies as well as other financial institutions. 

Trends in Identity Verification

Some of the latest trends in this technology are taking it to new heights. Here are the top trends in this technology that are changing the ID verification sphere: 

  • KBA is Moving Out

The authentication process by having possession over data is no longer considered a sufficient solution. KBA and SSN verification are going out of the picture as they are proving to be a week security system. Recent data leaks have also validated this fact. So businesses are looking for better solutions to perform authentication methods. A phone number to identify allows a business to authenticate the user accessing a system and halting fraudsters from using leaked data. 

  • Comprehensive Integration:

Financial institutes are becoming aware of the need for systems to fully integrate with financial institutes existing core technologies. Most of the businesses are not considering alterations in their core processors, finding it way too expensive. But latest identity verification solutions do not require any additional hardware to be installed. They can be easily integrated with the current processors cutting short the cost for businesses. ID verification system can easily be integrated and does not create bugs that are formed due to incompatibility issues upon implementation. The time required for diminishing such bugs out of the system is also saved. As time is money for businesses so this technology is both time and cost-effective.

  • Biometric Technology

Biometric verification is not just a buzzword in identity verification but this technology is a milestone achieved in mitigating risks of forgery and scams. By identifying a person through his unique facial features or fingerprints, fraudsters can be authenticated before giving access to the system. It is becoming increasingly powerful with every new iteration. Biometric technology, depending on applications, allows a user to authenticate himself using geolocation, fingerprints, iris scan, face recognition, and other biometrics that are unique to a person.  

This technology is becoming more prevalent. Face verification technology provides seamless authentication just like taking a ‘selfie’. No contact or additional hardware is required in this. That is why it is being widely adopted. 3D liveness detection adds an extra layer of security. Liveness Detection is a process that assures the live physical facial presence of a person is validated at the time of biometric authentication. It is an anti-spoofing measure to fight back all kinds of frauds to deceive such a system. This technology is vetted and became mainstream in identity verification solutions to ensure greater accuracy without using additional technology. 

  • Two Factor Authentication

Securing your systems with passwords only is known for years but we know these can be cracked easily in this digitized world. It is even difficult to memorize and change passwords frequently. It has become a fantasy that only strong passwords can now protect us, as hackers regularly breaking into the systems and releasing passwords. As our accounts are interconnected by Emails, it becomes easy for hackers to crack the password of one and gain access on all. So the solution for it is two-factor authentication, which lets a user know when someone is trying to gain access on any of their accounts. Like Gmail account is asking you every time you are signing in from different browsers if it was you. The basic idea is just a secure second option that authenticates without making it inconvenient for the user. It’s easy adding your mobile number and add a secret code sent to you every time you are logging in. It is instant and adds an extra layer of security making it difficult for scammers to get access. 

  • Consumer Concern Drives for Change

Identity theft, credit card frauds, account takeover, and many other scams are the biggest concerns of businesses such as banks as well as consumers falling victim to it. According to FICO, ID theft costs businesses around 16.8 billion dollars each year, so it is the top concern of financial institutes as well. More effective identity verification solutions are being used to meet the security-conscious market demands against fraudsters. If the security threats are on the rise, new advancements in ID verification technologies are on the heels. These trends will equate a more secure online sphere, which will result in benefits for both businesses and consumers. 

  • Blockchain Technology for Data Storage

No matter how advanced identity verification solution is being used, one eminent question remains there that where is the private data of a consumer is being stored to make it out of criminals’ reach. One recent answer in this regard is blockchain technology. Blockchain is a secure distributed database where no single entity has all the data.  Blocks of data are added to embed the private data safely. 

  • Automation will continue to be Gold

Identity verification solutions perform the process in real-time without using any tam effort. Adding automation to the procedure enhances user experience as now they will not have to wait for days just to get verified. It becomes frustrating for clients at times and ultimately they end up leaving the platform. It is also beneficial for businesses as it saves their time and labor resulting in lower costs. 

How Artificial Intelligence is taking ID verification to the next level?

How Artificial Intelligence is taking ID verification to the next level?

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Identity theft is deemed as a growing problem. Particularly with the increase in online shopping, the number of online identity theft increased rapidly. According to a 2019 Internet security report, cybercriminals are diversifying their targets and using stealthier methods to commit identity theft and fraud. In 2018, FTC processed 1.4 million fraud reports resulting in $1.48 billion losses. 

The number of fraudulent transactions and massive data breaches continues to rise as the fraudsters and cybercriminals become more sophisticated. To deal with these issues, various ID scanning and security solutions have been implemented using Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

 Artificial intelligence enables computers to make human-like decisions and automating a particular task. It empowers everyday technologies like search engines, self-driving cars, and facial recognition apps. The technology is also leveraged for customer identity authentication and fraud prevention. 

Machine learning and deep learning make it possible to authenticate, verify and accurately process the identities of the users at scale. Here are some ways AI and machine learning are used to scale identity verification.

Scaling identity verification with machine learning

Oftentimes, users are required to show their ID documents when purchasing or opening an account in the bank. Identity documents such as driver’s licenses and passports are scanned to authenticate the users. Some examples of document verification includes checking the originality of documents, extracting information using OCR, confirmation of genuine microprint text, and face recognition match the identity of a person. 

However, in online verification scenarios, the chances of forgery and identity theft increases. Using machine learning and automation for identity verification can create a more robust system that doesn’t rely on human verification experts. These machine learning systems perform identity verification faster than humans and are more secure.

3 features of a robust AI-powered ID authentication solution

For a robust ID proofing solution, 3 important ingredients are required:


Since data is the fuel for machine learning algorithms, acquiring suitable and specific data is necessary. To build a powerful machine learning model, tagged data is important.

Evaluation and Modelling

Defining success factors once the data is available in the next important ingredient. For instance, considering the problem of ID verification needs more accurate models because false identification could lead to errors. This is why a model with more than 95% accuracy and real-time processing should be implemented. 


Machine learning models make the decision based on previous experiences which is why training with suitable and tagged data sets is important for a robust AI service provider. Teaching machines right from wrong is essential. 

However, IDs are physical documents that could easily wear and tear and if all the checks for authentication are automated many real IDs might fail the verification. This is where human insights come into play.

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How Artificial Intelligence is taking ID verification to the next level?

A hybrid approach using AI and HI

Human ID validation experts can step in to prevent bad customer experiences during the rare instances where the machine fails to accurately identify what is wrong with the documents. This further helps in identifying the key problems and making improvements in the system.

Shufti Pro uses AI in synergy with human intelligence to make the verification process frictionless.

Augmenting ID authentication by including biometric verification

Biometric authentication is much less explored technology when it comes to online identity verification. With features like liveness detection and anti-spoofing, facial recognition provides a lot of opportunities to businesses that want to ensure transparency on their online platform. Face recognition promises impeccable performance both in onsite and offsite verification scenarios. Facial authentication working in collaboration with document verification can provide reliable identity verification services to the businesses that are sick of being fooled by facial spoof attacks and other identity fraud methods.


Artificial Intelligence increases customer security and provides businesses an edge over the fraudsters. It enhances human ability and will continue to do so to enable businesses to process information intelligently and prevent being scammed. While AI-powered systems are still needed to be refined, it is high time that the business entails AI-based solutions for better enhancement of their workflows. 

Shufti Pro’s identity verification solution is built upon an ideal combination of artificial and human intelligence and augmented with face verification. It enables businesses to prevent fraud and onboard authentic customers. Shufti Pro’s investment in AI resulted in better customer experience, as well as enhanced security for online businesses. 

What to expect from Booming Identity Verification Market in 2020?

What to expect from Booming Identity Verification Market in 2020?

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Technologies hatched by fourth industrial revolution such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the trends in marketing and revolutionizing the way we deal in every sector. The same is the case with businesses. These revolutions have changed the way one does business. The fourth industrial revolution including Artificial intelligence augmented reality, robotics has bought a lot of digitizing on the table. This automation has eased many processes that used to take days previously but now can be done in the blink of the eye. Identity verification is one of those procedures that can now be done digitally saving a lot of time and effort. It involves a systemic change across many sectors and sides of the business. 

AI-powered Identity verification solutions include biometric verification, digital document verification, 2-Factor authentication, and age verification that help fight many frauds in the business sector.  The identity verification industry is expected to reach USD 18.12 billion by 2027 as it grew steadily in recent years. Authenticating identities is important for financial institutes globally. To protect a business from cybercrimes, money laundering, account takeover, and identity theft frauds it is mandatory to have a sound identity verification solution integrated into the system. Financial criminals are becoming more sophisticated with the passage of time their game is getting strong. Identity authentication of customers and completing due diligence has never been more difficult or more important. 

What is Identity Verification- A Deep Dive:

Customers and businesses communicate digitally in this digitized world. In this busy world, no one has time for face-to-face meetings or direct contact neither it is considered as a suitable option. Manual authentication trends for physical confirmation of an individual are long forgotten due to the time they take. Digital identity verification technology is now used to verify the individual by facial recognition technology, address verification, document verification done digitally in seconds. The significant increase in digital fraud has caused the loss of millions for individuals and businesses. Businesses are always the easy target of cybercriminals and fraudsters. Customer identity verification KYC as well as business verification KYB is essential to save businesses from intruders and scammers.

Types of Identity Verification Solution:

Following are the types of digital identity verification solutions:

  • Biometric  Verification Solutions:

The biometric authentication system is designed to perform due diligence on the customers by using one type of biometrics – face verification. Facial verification scans the face in real-time and detects unique facial features through a 3D depth perception technique. 

The liveness detection system captures minor facial movements to ensure that an original person is making the verifications. Liveness detection ensures that a paper backed or photoshopped image is not used for verification. Facial verification delivers highly accurate results and that too swiftly, within seconds. It makes fraud prevention and KYC/AML compliance quite easier for the people. 

  • Document Verification:

Digital document verification scans the document picture using OCR technology, the information can be taken from the document. It also authenticates if the document is real and original. By this customer’s authentication can be performed without putting them on a frustrating wait of days. 

  • Address Verification:

Establish proof of residence for verified deliveries and user identity. It scans utility bills, bank statements, etc by using OCR data extraction.

  • 2-Factor Authentication

Verify authorized users remotely through their mobile phones. It provides quick remote user authentication by sending Personalized code fro verification. It is an auto-code generator to provide user access.

  • KYC and KYB Checks:

KYC is essential for businesses and organizations as per regulatory authorities. KYB is also important when dealing with other businesses for the partnership to make sure the other business is a valid company and not a shell company.  These days there are some serious digital security concerns for all sorts of businesses because of scams like digital fraudulent activities, data breaches, and ID theft are on the rise and abusing the systems easily. Such activities are translating a significant revenue loss for the businesses that fall victim to these criminal activities. 

  • AML Screening:

AML screening is a process that defines the role that how a company monitors accounts, detects and reports financial crimes to relevant authorities. AML screening tackles intrinsic money laundering risks the company faces or can face. Customer Screening for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) is the aim of completing due diligence to prevent and deter money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crime and fraud. It ensures that no one from the PEP list or with criminal background is becoming part of a business. 

Factors fueling the growth of ID verification market:

Following are the factors that are greasing the wheels of digital ID verification market:

  • Increasing Data Breaches:

It will not be an exaggeration to say that 2019 was a year of data breaches. During the first nine months of 2019, around 7.9 billion records have been compromised according to Risk-based Security Reseach and are expected to be 8.5 billion in the whole year. As per statistics, these numbers are up 112% as compared to mid-year 2018. To mitigate the risk of data breaches it is crucial for any business to give access to the right person only to the sensitive data.

  • Stringent Compliances:

According to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) act and the patriot act 2001  KYC is mandatory for banks to know who they are dealing with. The same goes for AML directives for combating the financing of terrorists (CFT) and to hinder money laundering. KYC and AML checks are necessary for financial institutes to perform. It provides a win-win situation for both businesses and customers by filtering high-risk customers for businesses and verifying customers in real-time.

  • Enhanced customer experience

Digital ID verification solutions eliminate the annoying pile of paperwork making the business one step ahead and more customer-friendly. Customers will appreciate your attention to safeguarding their identity, building rapport, and brand loyalty that too in real-time. Replacing traditional checks with face verification saves a lot of time and effort. You do not need to memorize or change passwords since the work is being done by your biometrics in lesser time. 

  • Increased Security for Rising Scams :

It’s more important than ever to verify the identities of customers due to an increased risk of terrorist funding and money laundering in this digitized world. ID verification technology is a great tool to instantly verify the identity of any visitor quickly and easily, making both customers and employees feel safer. It fightbacks forgery like account takeover, fake identity, identity theft, credit card fraud, etc. 

  • Easy Integration in System:

Identity verification solutions have another advantage for businesses and that is it can be easily integrated into the system. No additional hardware is required at times for these verification solutions such as for face verification technology. This provides businesses with an edge providing another reason to adhere to this technology.

Taking into account these problems, every business wants to protect itself from fraudsters, saving them time and cost for fulfilling the orders of customers who don’t exist, henceforth preventing them from accessing the business and carrying their illicit activities. The use of digital verification services is a safer and cheaper solution in the long run with real-time verification results. The ID verification and authentication solutions are quite vigilant solutions for businesses since they make it easy for organizations to achieve a secure customer base while enhancing the customer experience as well. These are the reasons why businesses are adhering to these technologies making the ID verification market boom tremendously. 

New Study by NIST Reveals Biases in Facial Recognition Technology

New Study by NIST Reveals Biases in Facial Recognition Technology

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently did a study on the effects of race, age and sex on the facial recognition software. The results showed significant biases in the software for the people of color and women. 

The report’s primary author and a NIST computer scientist, Patrick Grother, said in a statement, 

“While it is usually incorrect to make statements across algorithms, we found empirical evidence for the existence of demographic differentials in the majority of the face recognition algorithms we studied.”  

This means that the algorithms misidentified people of color more than white people and they also misidentified women more than men. 

The study done by NIST is pretty robust. NIST evaluated 189 software algorithms from 99 developers, “a majority of the industry”, using federal government data sets which contains roughly 18 million images of more than 8 million people.

The study evaluated how well those algorithms perform in both one-to-one matches and one-to-many matches. Some algorithms were more accurate than others, and NIST carefully notes that “different algorithms perform differently.” 

The higher rates of false positives were in the one-to-one matching scenario for Asian and African American faces compared to Caucasian faces. And this effect was remarkably dramatic as well in some instances with the misidentifications 100 times more for the Asian and African American faces compared to their white counterparts. 

The study also showed that the algorithms resulted in more false positives for women than men and more false positives for the very young and very old compared to the middle-aged faces. In the one-to-many scenario, African American women had higher rates of false positives. 

The study also found out that the algorithms developed in Asian countries didn’t result in the same drastic false-positive results in the one-to-one matching of Asian and Caucasian faces. According to NIST, this shows that the impact of the diversity of training data, or lack thereof, on the resulting algorithm. 

“These results are an encouraging sign that more diverse training data may produce more equitable outcomes, should it be possible for developers to use such data,” Grother said.



Twitter Reveals Plans of Addressing Deepfakes

Twitter Reveals Plans of Addressing Deepfakes

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Last month, Twitter announced that it was working on plans to better handle the rising issues of deepfakes. It has just released new guidelines on which direction they are going towards to combat the issue of deepfakes. 

Twitter is asking the public to weigh in and contribute towards shaping their policies for “synthetic and manipulated media”. 

Twitter explained in a series of tweets about their proposed policies and their future plans. Twitter also put the most emphasis on the importance of public feedback.


Twitter has released initial drafts to combat the issue of deepfakes

synthetic and manipulated media

(Source: Twitter)


Here is the draft of the policies regarding synthetic and manipulated media. 

“Twitter may:

  • place a notice next to Tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media;
  • warn people before they share or like Tweets with synthetic or manipulated media; or
  • add a link – for example, to a news article or Twitter Moment – so that people can read more about why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated.”


Twitter also mentioned that if a tweet includes any kind of synthetic or manipulated media that could be misleading or threatening someone’s physical safety or lead to serious harm, that tweet might be removed. 

Twitter will close the feedback period on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. GMT. Thirty days before the policy goes into effect, twitter will make another announcement informing users of the new regulations. 


Facial Recognition: Worries About the Use of Synthetic Media

Facial Recognition: Worries About the Use of Synthetic Media

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In 2019, 4.4 billion internet users were connected to the internet worldwide, a rise of 9% from last year recorded by Global Digital 2019 report. As the world shrinks to the size of a digital screen in your palm, the relevance of AI-backed technologies can hardly be overstated. Mobile applications took over marketplaces; cloud storage replaced libraries, and facial recognition systems became the new ID. 

On the flip side, this has also exposed each one of us to a special kind of threat that is as intangible as its software of origin: the inexplicable loss of privacy. 

AI-powered surveillance, in the form of digital imprints, is a worrying phenomenon that is fast taking center stage in technology conversations. Facial recognition is now closely followed by facial replacement systems that are capable of thwarting the very basis of privacy and public anonymity. Synthetic media, in the form of digitally altered audios, videos, and images, are known to have impacted many in recent times. As the largest threat to online audiovisual content, deepfakes are going viral, with more than 10,000 videos recorded to date. 

As inescapable as facial technology seems, researchers have found a way to knock it down using adversarial patterns and de-identification software. However, the onus falls on the enablers of technology who must now outpace the rate at which preparators are learning to abuse facial recognition for their own interests. 

Trending Facial Recognition Practices 

Your face is your identity. Technically speaking, that has never been truer than it is today. 

Social media, healthcare, retail & marketing, and law enforcement agencies are amongst the leading users of facial recognition databases that stock countless images of individuals for various reasons. These images are retrieved from surveillance cameras embedded with the technology, and from digital profiles that can be accessed for security and identification purposes. 

As a highly controversial technology, facial recognition is now being subjected to strict regulation. Facebook, the multi-billion dollar social media giant, has been penalized for its facial recognition practices several times by legal authorities. Privacy Acts accuse it of misusing public data and disapprove of its data collection policies.

In popular use is Facebook’s Tag Suggestions feature using biometric data (facial scanning) to detect users’ friends in a photo. Meddling with the private affairs and interests of individual Facebook users, the face template developed using this technology is stored and reused by the server several times, mostly without consent. While users have the option to turn off face scanners at any time, the uncontrolled use of the feature exposes them to a wide range of associated threats. 

Cautions in Facial Replacement Technology


As advanced as technology may be, it has its limitations. In most cases, the accuracy of identification arises as a leading concern among critics, who point to the possibility of wrongly identifying suspects. This is especially true in the case of people of color, as the US government has found them to be wrongly identified by the best facial algorithms five to ten times higher than whites. 

For instance, a facial recognition software, when fed with a single photo of a suspect, can match up to 50 photos from the FBI database, leaving the final decision up to human officials. In most cases, image sources are not properly vetted, further dampening the accuracy of the technology underuse. 

De-identification Systems


Businesses are rapidly integrating facial recognition systems for identity authentication and customer onboarding. But while the technology itself is experiencing rampant adoption, experts are also finding a way to trick it. 

De-identification systems, as the name suggests, seek to mislead facial recognition software and trick it into wrongly identifying a subject. It does so by changing vital facial features of a still picture and feeding the flawed information to the system. 

As a step forward, Facebook’s AI research firm FAIR claims to have achieved a new milestone by using the same face replacement technology for a live video. According to them, this de-identification technology was born to deter the rising abuse of facial surveillance. 

Adversarial Examples and Deepfakes


Facial recognition fooling imagery in the form of adversarial examples also have the ability to fool computer vision systems. Wearable gear such as sunglasses has adversarial patterns that trick the software into identifying faces as someone else, as found by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. 

A group of engineers from the University of KU Leuven in Belgium has attempted to fool AI algorithms built to recognize faces, simply by using some printed patterns. Printed patches on clothing can effectively make someone virtually invisible for surveillance cameras.

Currently, these experiments are limited to specific facial software and databases, but as adversarial networks advance, the technology and expertise will not be limited to a few hands. In the current regulatory scenario, it is hard to say who will win the race: the good guys who will use facial recognition systems to identify criminals or the bad guys who will catch on to the trend of de-identification and use it to fool even the best of technology? 

AI researchers of the Deepfake Research Team at Stanford University have delved deeper into the rising trend of synthetic media and found existing techniques such as erasing objects from videos, generating artificial voices, and mirroring body movements, to create deepfakes. 

This exposure to synthetic media will change the way we perceive news entirely. Using artificial intelligence to deceive audiences is now a commonly learned skill. Face swapping, digital superimposition of faces on different bodies, and mimicking the way people move and speak can have wide-ranging implications. The use of deepfake technology has been seen in false pornography videos, political smear campaigns and fake news scares, all of which have damaged the reputation and social stability. 



Humans Ace AI in Detecting Synthetic Media


The unprecedented scope of facial recognition has opened up a myriad of problems. Technology alone can’t win this war. 

Why Machines Fail 


Automated software can fail to detect a person entirely, or display improper results because of tweaked patterns in a deepfake video. Essentially, this happens because the machines and software understand faces can be exploited.

Deep learning mechanisms, that power facial recognition technology, extract information from large databases and look for recurring patterns in order to learn to identify a person. This entails measuring scores of data points on a single face image, such as calculating distance between pupils, to reach a conclusion.

Cybercriminals and fraudsters can exploit this weakness by blinding facial recognition software to their identity without having to wear a mask, thereby escaping any consequence whatsoever. Virtually anything and everything that uses AI solutions to carry out tasks are now at risk, as robots designed to do a specific job can easily be misled into making the wrong decision. Self-driving cars, bank identification systems, medial AI vision systems, and the likes are all at serious risk of being misused. 

Human Intelligence for Better Judgement


Currently, there is no tool available for accurate detection of deepfakes. As opposed to an algorithm, it is easier for humans to be prepared to detect altered content online and be able to stop it from spreading.  An AI arms race coupled with human expertise will discern which technological solutions can keep up with such malicious attempts. The latest detection techniques will, therefore, need to include a combination of artificial and human intelligence. 

By this measure, artificial intelligence reveals undeniable flaws that stem from the abstract analysis that it relies on. In comparison, human comprehension surpasses its digital counterpart and identifies more than just pixels on a face. 

As a consequence, the use of hybrid technologies, offered by leading identification software tackles this issue with great success. Wherever artificially learned algorithms fail, humans can promptly identify a face and perform valid authentications. 

In order to combat digital crimes and secure AI technologies, we will have to awaken the detective in us. Being able to tell a fake video from a real one will take real judgment and intuitive skills, but not without the right training. Currently, we are not equipped to judge audiovisual content, but we can learn how to detect doctored media and verify content based on source, consistency, confirmation, and metadata. 

However, as noticed by privacy evangelists and lawmakers alike, the necessary safeguards are not built into these systems. And we have a long way to go before relying on machines for our safety. 


Identity Verification – Key to Eliminate BEC Fraud

Identity Verification – Key to Eliminate BEC Fraud

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Fraud prevention and cybersecurity are the major concerns of the companies in the digital era. Norton predicted that cybercriminals will steal an estimated 33 billion records in 2023. And misuse of such information is a common practice. Fraud comes unannounced so the businesses need to adopt a proactive approach towards such events. Fraud prevention is a continuous process. For example, if you perform KYC and AML screening before onboarding your customers and do not practice it at the time of every transaction you are leaving a loophole for a Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud. 

BEC fraud, also called CEO fraud is very common because most of the communication is online. The criminals do a lot of research before targeting an entity for BEC fraud. In this fraud, the criminals will send an email or make a call for urgent fund transfer to a company impersonating as one of their customers or merchants

BEC fraud is executed in a very friendly way. The criminals either manipulate the person with a friendly chat or by showing urgency in fulfillment of their fund transfer request. 

For example, 50 years old Evaldas Rimasauskas tricked Google and Facebook to wire more than $100 million to his bank accounts. 

The man researched a merchant of Facebook and Google namely, “Quanta Computer” and registered a firm with a similar name. Then he sent fake invoices and contracts to make the fraud appear more natural.  

He tricked the employees of both companies into wiring money to his bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus. Then he transferred the funds to his bank accounts in Hong Kong, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovakia, Latvia, and Lithuania to hide the money trail. 

How is a BEC Fraud Executed?


A BEC fraud starts with a lot of research about entities (businesses that could be the soft targets for the fraud. The criminals collect information related to the merchants or customers of the company that has their payments pending. Once they have the information the criminals will make an email ID quite similar to that of your client’s email ID and contacts one of your employees. At times the criminals use the legitimate email ID of your customers because one of your customers might have been careless about securing their email credentials. 

This fraud could also be executed the other way round. The criminals might use your email credentials to contact your merchants and clients for fund transfer of pending payments. Your clients will make the payments and you will have to bear a financial loss if your legit email credentials are used for the execution of the fraud. 

The contact is mostly conducted through a casual email like asking about your last vacation or your health. Once they break the ice, they will send a friendly email regarding the change of their account details or for an urgent fund transfer.  

Not suspecting anything suspicious the employees often fulfill the request, quickly due to the urgency created by the criminal. 

Often the criminals send fake invoices as well with the official header or logo of one of your clients. Or they make calls impersonating as the CEO of your client company to make things look more natural. 

Also, in most of the email compromise frauds, the criminals ask for a wire transfer and leverage over the confidence that companies have in security protocols practiced in wire transfer fraud. 

Industries That Are Common Victims of BEC Fraud



Banks are the most common targets of BEC fraud as they are the financial intermediaries and serve a diverse clientele. Banks around the globe are struggling to retain their customers after the advent of fintech and are always in contact with their clients. Receiving wire transfer requests from customers is common for banks. When they receive any such email for urgent transfer from a credible client the employee often tries to fulfill the request at the earliest to retain happy customers. 

Real estate


Real estate is also a common victim. The criminals collect information regarding some ongoing real estate deals and contact the buyer as the legal representative of the seller and request a fast payment or clearance of dues. 

As the deal is in the closing phase the buyer does not suspect anything suspicious and makes the transaction. 

B2B Businesses


In this case, the criminals target the companies in a B2B relationship. The email ID of the CEO or legal representative of one of the companies is exploited in such cases. The criminals collect complete information regarding the previous email communication among the two companies and use it to send an email with a natural casual tone. 

How to Prevent BEC Fraud?


BEC fraud has caused huge losses to many businesses of all sizes and types, even the non-profit organizations have been the victims of this fraud. FBI’s Internet Crime Report (ICR) found that BEC fraud losses rose by 90.3% in 2018 and fraud complaints rose by 14.3%. 

Businesses of all types and sizes need to pay heed towards the prevention of BEC fraud. It not only cause financial loss but also affects the credibility of a company. Below are a few suggestions for preventing BEC fraud.

Identity verification of every request of wire transfer


Most of the businesses use online communication, but do not understand the significant risk lurking in the cyberspaces. Businesses need to develop and practice in-house fraud prevention measures to counter any BEC fraud attempt. 

Businesses should use verification methods to screen every such request. Ask the email sender to go through a real-time identity verification process every time a customer makes such a request. The verification could be performed through face recognition or 2-factor authentication. 

Online identity verification is a feasible solution as it shows quick results and does not cause any inconvenience for the end-user. Also, the visible security measures will show your commitment to the security of your merchants or customers. 

Train your employees


Employees of companies are the common victims of BEC frauds. The criminals choose a soft target that is easy to manipulate for wire transfer fraud or a phishing scam. 

So, the employees must be trained on a regular basis, regarding the latest trends in cybersecurity and the types of cybercrimes. This will help them to identify suspicious emails and fake fund transfer requests. 

The training could be based on the following pointers:


  1. Do not open any emails that are way too attractive, it might be a phishing email. 
  2. Beware of urgent payment requests from your merchants. 
  3. Tackling the account credential change request from your customers/merchants
  4. Very casual and friendly email from your merchants 
  5. Train them about the technical aspects of fraud prevention software used in your company

Report the concerned authorities 


As soon as you find a BEC fraud, report it to the concerned authorities. It will protect the company from such attacks in the future. Also, it is the corporate and legal responsibility of the businesses to report such fraud attempts for the benefit of the masses. 

Email security


Using email security filters help in analyzing and detecting any threats in the email messages. Also using the filters for detecting the newly registered domain names similar to your domain name helps in finding the potential risk before it could cause any harm. 

Such filters help in identifying and stopping spoofing emails from reaching the mailbox of the employees. 

To wrap up, BEC fraud is a planned crime and businesses need to be proactive to eliminate such frauds. Caution in sharing contact information and basic identity verification of the person making such fund transfer requests is necessary to eliminate the chances of becoming a victim of BEC fraud. In-depth verification of clients and merchants before making transactions helps in eliminating the risk at the very first stage. These minimal and easy steps might prevent a huge loss for your company.

Age Verification – Ultimate Online Protection for Minors

Age Verification – Ultimate Online Protection for Minors

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The rapid increase in the use of the internet is raising some major concerns for parents regarding the online protection of their children. With the world moving towards digitisation and smart devices, every child is now exposed to the digital world. Whether it’s about watching youtube videos or playing games online, the children are regularly using mobile phones and tablets. On the internet, no one knows who you are. The freedom of staying anonymous on the internet allows anyone to get registered on any website using any identity information. 

Generally, to register on any site, we need an email address and some personal information like name, gender, date of birth, etc. For instance, Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo provide easy access to free email accounts, without proper verification of the individuals. Any child can get a free email account and use it for age-restricted sites, i.e. dating and porn sites, gambling platforms, and online liquor stores, etc. by misinterpreting their age and identity. Similarly, the same thing goes for adults as well that they can access services and products by manipulating their age.

“Act your age” isn’t applicable anymore in the digital world

The widespread use of the internet and smart devices has exposed the minors to the dark side of the web. Although the existence of child predators, pedophiles, fraudsters and cybercriminals is not a new phenomenon, however, the ease of access to social networking and other online platforms has contributed in an unsupervised encounter between adults and minors. This has grabbed the attention of cybercriminals and fraudsters providing them another opportunity to exploit the identities of children.



Exposure of children to the internet has raised serious concerns for the parents. The curious nature of kids to explore everything online is landing them in a dark pit divulging in illegal activities. According to NHS survey of smoking, drinking and drug use among school children (11 to 15-year-olds) in England -in 2016, three percent said they were regular smokers, 74 percent said they find it very difficult to give up smoking and 6 percent said they were currently regular e-cigarette smokers. 

Moreover, minors are actively seen accessing social networking platforms and multiple age-restricted websites. The substantial risk associated with such platforms is the lack of proper age verification and authentication checks. According to the Young People and Gambling 2018 report, more than 450,000 children aged between 11 to 16 place bets regularly. Not to forget that gambling is illegal in most countries that too for minors. Furthermore, the presence of kids on the internet has resulted in increased Children Identity theft and fraud, eventually causing millions of losses for parents.

Age Verification – the need for Online Businesses

The anonymity on the internet and negligence of the businesses to confirm the age of their users is proving harmful not just for the kids and their families but for businesses as well. In the past few years, some deadly events took place due to a lack of age verification checks on the retailing stores. In 2014, a 16-year-old boy murdered the schoolfellow by brutally stabbing him with a knife. When investigated, he claimed to order a knife online from Amazon. That wasn’t the only case.

The rapid-increase of such pernicious incidents and children’s identity theft has propelled government and regulatory agencies to take steps against such incidents and come up with measures to avoid them in the future. To protect minors’ identities online and safeguarding them from age-restricted content, products, and services, the government has strictly imposed legal penalities for the businesses that fail to verify the age of their users before allowing them access to mature content. 

The businesses that don’t confirm the age of their customers before allowing access to age-restricted content can face up to two years of imprisonment and fine. According to the Digital Economy Act 2017, the commercially operated age-restricted websites must ensure that their users are 18+. In the case of failure to comply, the regulators are empowered to fine them up to £250,000 (or up to 5% of their turnover) and order the blocking of non-compliant websites.

Goals of Age Verification for Children:

Performing age verification online is essential to protect children’s privacy, ensuring their safety from cyberbullies and assuring that they don’t gain access to inappropriate and mature content.

Read this white paper on age verification to learn more.



Performing age verification online is hampered by the fact that children generally lack credentials and proof to verify their age themselves. Therefore, access to age-restricted websites and mature content is limited to the users who can prove they are adults. If the user fails to verify their age and identity, the will be straightforwardly denied access. Moreover, there are some websites that perform identity authentication for adults and on the basis of their authority as a legal guardian, age verification of their children can be performed. In this way, the parents can track their children online as well.

How Blockchain is Making the World a Better Place

How Blockchain is Making the World a Better Place

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Verify identity: The whole world lives online now. Yes, that’s an exaggeration but we are gradually moving there. Every day millions of people connect with the internet to research, shop, comment and to pay bills. The more a person interacts online the more concrete their digital footprint. 

How Blockchain Can Resolve Identity Management Issues

What’s Wrong with Online Money Transaction?

Most online transactions require a person to give identification before proceeding. If you have purchased items on Amazon, used PayPal or Google Pay, you know the drill. Usually, these companies ask you to answer personal questions. 

Answering questions is not the problem, where they store them is.

Every time someone interacts with the internet this way, they leave that information on the web. Your digital identity creates clones on different platforms (wherever you interact), which is a security risk. Hacking of Equifax was one such episode where personal data was hacked. This event and many others expose how vulnerable the system is.

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How can Blockchain Help?

Blockchain offers security. It lets individuals and businesses create a peer to peer network. They can exchange information or currency through it. It also allows individuals to create digital identities or self-sovereign identities which are difficult to steal. 

What is so special about Blockchain? Democracy!

Master nodes are a possible solution to verify identity online. Master nodes democratically select a node to verify the user. Similarly, they can verify documents. Nodes are the soul of the blockchain.

There are three types of nodes;

  • Node: Send and receive transactions
  • Full node: Whatever the node does plus it keeps the copy of the entire chain
  • Master nodes: It has the power of the full node plus enables decentralized governance and budgeting. It’s the master.

Your Digital Identity is in Safe Hands with Blockchain

Blockchain basically creates your digital identity or a digital watermark that can be affixed to all your online transactions. Hence any unusual or suspicious transaction will not be approved since they won’t be wearing your digital watermark.

Blockchain not only secures your Verify identity but also helps secure the clones. Which means that you are more secure transacting online if it exists on the Blockchain. You get more freedom about your identity. The companies also get more control in who they approve or include in their blockchain network. 

Utilising Digital Identity Verification for Imparting Better Healthcare

Utilising Digital Identity Verification for Imparting Better Healthcare

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The importance of patient identification and verification is crucial in the healthcare sector. According to a paper by the World Bank, patient identification can be critical in imparting fast and effective healthcare services to patients and can do wonders for public health management, thereby helping achieve sustainable development. Digital identity verification systems can assist healthcare providers to not only to improve the quality of healthcare they provide but would also enable them to improve organisation and sharing of medical records, ensure insurance claims and reduce medical fraud by protecting patient data.

Healthcare providers in a lot of countries are still using paper-based systems to maintain patient records. The handful of providers that do use digital systems have stagnant IT systems that are incapable of processing and transferring data. This has lead to weak planning giving rise to capacity issues and inefficient care for patients. Relevant government institutions also find it difficult to provide better access to healthcare if they have no way of identifying and verifying individuals. This also keeps out individuals who are in need of necessary healthcare services but cannot have access to it due to lack of identification.

How Digital Identity Verification Can Play a Role in Healthcare

Different processes in the healthcare sector need the identity of patients. From providing the proper treatment to maintaining patient records, the identity and verification of patients is extremely important. There are a number of ways in which digitised identification systems can enable healthcare providers to impart better medical services;

  • Efficient Data Collection for Planning and Research

With the proliferation of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, systems are now available that have automated entire processes for different industries. Particularly for sectors are data rich, like finance and healthcare, AI and its applications have provided amazing solutions. Digital identity verification systems can, therefore, allow access to patient records and histories in an instant. It allows healthcare providers and government ministries to efficiently plan according to the data collected through these systems. It also allows them to access data for research and development purposes.

  • Managing Patient Treatments and Records

Through proper automated identification and verification procedures, healthcare providers can manage and access patient records instantly. It also allows transfer and sharing of data amongst healthcare institutions, therefore reducing duplicate testing, and allowing for swift and efficient patient care. Patients can control the sharing of personal information as well. As records are updated in real-time, doctors and support staff are able to gain access to patients’ condition instantly by only identifying them effectively.


  • Improved Insurance Management

Filing for insurance claims can be a tedious process for hospitals. Automated patient verification systems can provide hospitals and clinics with efficient systems that can process insurance claims and assess the benefits that are included in a patient’s insurance program. It also allows patients to prove that they have access to insurance and have access to healthcare benefits and programs. Outdated systems can sometimes result in double payments, causing trouble for both the patient and healthcare providers.

  • Protecting Patient Records

With increased automation of information, cybercrime has also increased tenfolds. It has equally affected the healthcare sector increasing the ratio of medical identity theft. Patient records are increasingly being sold on the dark web and fetch a significant sum for the seller. Therefore, the protection of patient records must be equally important for healthcare providers. Online identity verification effectively eliminates the risk of fraud and identity theft. Measures must also be taken to protect patient information within the healthcare facility. Putting up anti-malware and anti-virus systems and firewalls are no longer enough. Hospitals and clinics need to robustly encrypt their patient records in order to thwart any cybercriminals.

By properly identifying and authenticating patient identities through automated systems, they can also make sure that a person is not using stolen information. Through digital document verification healthcare providers can identify patients. They can further authenticate a patient’s credentials through an online facial recognition system. This can enable hospitals to establish a true identity of a patient and provide them with relevant care effectively.

Shufti Pro is an online identity verification services provider that uses AI-enabled protocols to identify and verify users for a number of different industries, including the healthcare sector. It produces verification results within 30-60 seconds and allows for instant verification of users. The healthcare sector can benefit from its ID verification services in the form of document verification and face verification. Shufti Pro also has an OCR-based data extraction system that can extract information from documents in an instant. It uses a RESTful API and mobile SDKs for fast and efficient integration into an existing web-based interface of a company.

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Fraud Prevention in Real Estate Industry

Fraud Prevention in Real Estate Industry

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Fraud prevention tools that include3rd-party KYC service providers are essential in the real estate industry to elaborate what we mean. Please imagine this: you’re living cosily in your house. You’ve had it for quite some time. You bought it using the money that you received in your inheritance. It has a decent market value and you’re fortunate to not have any mortgages or loans to pay. One day you get up and you go out to check your mail. There is a mail for you from a real estate company that you have never heard of. You open it up thinking it must be an ad or something, but it’s actually a letter addressed to you. As you read through it you get a serious expression on your face and your heart starts to race. You think this has to be some mistake or a misunderstanding. You call the real estate company and ask to speak to the person mentioned in the letter. You tell him your name and he tells you that you have missed out on your mortgage payment for the first month. You tell him that you never applied for any such mortgage on your property. He says you signed the agreements and everything. You tell him that you would like to meet up and he agrees and you go to the address mentioned on the letter. When you reach the place you ask the secretary to direct you to the person whom you spoke with. You enter in his office and the person sitting behind the desk inquires as to how he can help you? You tell him your name,  and tell him you spoke on the phone with him. He suddenly loses the smile on his face and with a serious look inquires if this is a joke. You tell him that you almost fainted when you saw the letter. He says the man he processed the mortgage for was younger and a totally different person. You show him your ID and then he is the one who looks like he is going to faint. You have just become a victim of title fraud, you wonder why didn’t the real estate company do any background checks.

Luckily you have title insurance, although you never thought it would be required…

Another reason for the checks is that the real estate industry is a very lucrative and high equity business. This fact is something that in itself attracts a lot of people to invest in it. Sometimes not all the investor are good. Some plan to launder their money for use in criminal activities or even terrorism. Hence, AML/CFT (Anti-money Laundering/Combating Finance of Terrorism) compliance is imperative.

Are KYC Service Providers the Ideal Fraud Prevention Tool?

The incident above is a plausible scenario and a KYC process including a thorough background check would’ve actually stopped this from happening in the first place. These days real estate agents and companies can hire third party KYC service providers to help with their verification needs. These 3rd-party services providers use advanced AI that not only simplifies the entire process but also makes it extremely fast. The SaaS software integrates with almost all systems. The AI uses the power of the Internet, a webcam or a smartphone camera to carry out its KYC procedure. Let us explain using the fraud scenario mentioned above. When a client comes in for a mortgage they are asked to fill in an online form. Once the form is filled the KYC provider SaaS software kicks in and informs the customer of the process and also that the session will be recorded. Then it asks the individual to face the camera or, if one is not available, sends a link on their smartphone so that they can use their selfie cam. The AI checks for anything that would alter their face or hide it, such as excessive makeup, a mask, or using of a picture instead of showing their live face. The system is advanced enough to account for facial hair, glasses, jewellery and hair cuts. After that the system asks the person to show their ID on the camera and asks them to focus on their picture, name, DOB, and number (if applicable). The AI then matches the picture with the face and checks for signs of tampering or forgery on the ID. During this time the AI also carries out a background check. It searches global watchlists for finding any mention of fraud, money laundering or any links with terrorist organisations; thus ensuring compliance with AML/CFT rules and regulations. If everything checks out  then the system gives the go-ahead for the processing of the mortgage request. All these properties make KYC service providers an effective and efficient fraud prevention tool.

What to Look for in a Good Fraud Protection Tool?

Not all KYC service providers are the same, so we’re mentioning somethings that will make it easy for you to search out a good fraud prevention tool.

The most important  point is to make sure that the company you are selecting is compliant with all rules and regulations in the industry as lack of compliance can result in heavy fines for the company as well as the real estate business. The other important factors is speed. As people get tend to pass on long and time consuming processes that are complicated. Keeping this issue in mind, most good companies do verifications in seconds and provide easy-to-follow instructions. The background checks the system carries out is done simultaneously so it is also processed within the same time frame.

Almost all KYC service providers offer advanced AI solutions, but the good ones offer an adder layer of verification which is done by HI (people). Once the AI gives a verdict it is verified by live people to ensure there are no false positives. The entire process is completed in less than a minute.

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Shufti Pro® Expands ID Checks Online to Russia and China

Shufti Pro® Expands ID Checks Online to Russia and China

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Shufti Pro® advances their technology to support these world giants for their e-KYC needs to satiate stipulation for digital ID verification services from the East.

BATH, United Kingdom – November 1, 2017 – Shufti Pro®, the emergent leader in the online identity and document authentication milieu announced earlier today that their business verification services will now be available in Russia and China.

The software as a service endeavours to perform online identity verification for online businesses, online merchants, financial institutions, etc. They have now decided to extend their service to those in Russia and China as well. Shufti Pro® is now able to verify the original passports and their holders’ identity in the two countries.

Shufti Pro® employs the use of artificial as well as human intelligence to verify the authenticity of the document as well as the identity of the owner. Their process is quick, accurate, efficient and happens in real-time. They strive to provide digital KYC verification solutions with the aim of making the global virtual marketplace a safe and secure place as a trading platform.

CEO, Shufti Pro® said:

“We are proud to announce our expansion to include Russia and China in the countries we support. Rest assured, our integration into their online businesses will result in increased fraud prevention through accurate and digital identity and passport verification services .”

Talks with the CTO of the corporation enlightened us about their plans to include Russian and Chinese languages in their system as well. “Language incorporation, in the future, will result in a greater number of government-issued documents to be verified, like ID cards, driving licenses, credit/debit cards, etc.”, informed the CTO, Shufti Pro®.

The company plans to keep working on their technology in order to engage the entire world and bring them on one platform where they can fight against frauds, money laundering, identity thefts, etc. Reflecting on their astonishing progress in the span of 12 months, it seems highly probable that their goal of being one of the best fraud protection services will be realised sooner rather than later.

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