Global report reveals increasing ID fraud across the Middle East
Posted on 2023 Apr,30

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Shufti Pro, the identity verification service provider helping global businesses to onboard legitimate customers, reveals growing levels of identity fraud in the Middle East. 

Shufti Pro’s latest Identity Fraud Report found the level of identity fraud to be 28% in UAE and 36% in Saudi Arabia, compared to compared to the average percentage in the Middle East region that exceeded double the global rate of 16% a global average of 16%. This means that around one in three identity checks were found to be fraudulent in both territories.

The study found that 30% of rejected identity verifications in UAE, and 43% in Saudi Arabia, were due to document forgery —  categorised as an attempt to bypass the verification process by tampering with identity documents. 

Ahmad Jamal, Head of Shufti Pro for the Middle East and North Africa, commented: “We at Shufti Pro take very seriously our role in detecting and fighting identity fraud. And the findings from the Identity Fraud Report demonstrate just how necessary our work is. Economies across the globe are in an arms race against cyber-criminals with high levels of technical knowhow. Companies relying on manual processes or outdated technology to onboard and verify customers are taking huge risks with their finances and reputations.”

The most commonly forged ID documents across the globe were passports (40%), ID cards (26%), permanent residency permits (23%), driving licences (22%) and credit or debit cards (15%). 

The report further highlighted the rise of biometric fraud as a result of increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and deep fakes being deployed to outmanoeuvre Know Your Customer processes. Globally, the prevalence of biometric fraud rose to 18% from 16% compared to the previous year. The rate of biometric fraud in the UAE was 30% with a figure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of 43%, and a high in Iraq of 60%. 

Under its Liveness Detection services, Shufti Pro has deployed an array of techniques to determine whether or not the biometric trait is coming from a real person or a deep fake. 

Shufti Pro offers an extensive range of Know Your Customer (KYC), Know Your Business (KYB), and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions to businesses in the UAE and across the Middle East. It offers real-time digital authentication of the region’s identity cards, passports, driving licences, and other forms of ID thanks to its OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature, which extracts Arabic text with almost 99% accuracy.

The UK-based company has five regional offices and launched 17 different IDV products since its inception in 2017. With the ability to verify 10,000+ ID documents in 150+ languages, Shufti Pro is serving customers in 230+ countries and territories. 

The data in the Shufti Pro Identity Fraud Report is based on all the documents assessed by Shufti Pro on behalf of clients through the course of 2022.