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Foreigner Identity Fraud Creates Trouble in the Philippines

Foreigner Identity Fraud Creates Trouble in the Philippines

The Philippines is undergoing a serious immigration and national security issue with the upsurge of cases of foreigner identity fraud. The country has been known since long ago for being the ideal place to find a new identity and re-start a new life, and even to fake a death. However, it seems like too many foreigners are now committed to the idea of becoming someone else in the Philippines.

Every day more foreign people are paying for fraudulent birth certificates in the Philippines to get a Filipino passport and other identity documents.  Securing a government-issued ID requires the applicant to first establish their Philippines citizenship (they have to be born to a Filipino father and/or mother). Since this is not the case of these foreign fraudsters, private investigators in Manila say that their modus operandi is to pay for an authentic-looking birth certificate, printed in the original PSA security paper, but bearing false information. Other fraudsters pay for legitimate birth certificates of Filipinos who are possibly dead or who never acquired a government ID, and assume their identity.

Those looking for a fresh start usually bribe corrupt government employees or pay criminals for professional forgeries. Unfortunately the sale of counterfeit documents is a thriving business that the authorities are trying to fight.

Impostors know the birth certificate is the best document to pay for because it is a proof of both identity and nationality. The birth certificate can open the door to other Philippine identity documents, like driver’s licenses, health cards and other government-issued identifications. If the identity thief is allowed to fraudulently register their fake birth in a local civil registry office (where restrictions and control are limited), they can acquire a brand new identity.

How can foreigner identity theft affect you?

There are many reasons why criminals pay to have a different identity, most of them are to continue committing crime and to be able to get away with it. Impostors can be part of your company’s workforce, they can be a romantic partner, your realtor, an investor, etc. The possibilities are infinite but the common ground is that they are not who they claim to be.

Investigators’ advise is to conduct a thorough background check investigation in the Philippines to verify the real identity of the people you deal with, especially those with whom there is an important deal involved (marriage, a big investment, recruiting, etc) or a very valuable thing at stake.

Scrutinizing an employment applicant and a potential business or romantic partner is key to remain safe. The authorities, specifically the municipal civil registry offices, are the first line of defense to stop fake birth registries and identity theft, but since this is an ongoing issue the best anyone can do is to hire a local investigator in the Philippines to investigate the matter deeply.

The bottom line is that nowadays documents cannot be trusted anymore. You will need a thorough investigation and an expert in the matter to uncover the truth. Contact us if you need to verify someone’s identity in the Philippines.  We can help you uncover clear evidence.

C. Wright
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