The Importance of Being Verified: Learner drivers caught using test stand-ins

Fraud is on the increase. As the BBC highlighted only yesterday [Source], dozens of learner drivers are caught each year using impersonator stand-ins to take their driving test for them. Official figures reveal there were 209 convictions from 2012-13 to 2016-17, with more than half dealt with by the Metropolitan Police. In addition, 111 people were convicted of taking the practical or theory tests on behalf of others over the same time and more than 1,100 licences have been revoked due to such activity in the past five years.

Learner drivers caught using test stand-insDriving test fraud is a serious offence, DVSA head of counter-fraud and investigations Andy Rice said: “The driving test is there to ensure that all drivers have the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly. Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk.” [Source]

Here at Contego, we are on a mission to combat fraud in multiple sectors. We provide our clients with the best practice fraud reduction and due diligence solution on the market. We do this by providing real-time, automated checks on People, Companies and Identity Documents, combined with one of the largest databases of screening information.

Our clients rely on us to mitigate fraud risk, we help them to ensure they not only comply with current regulations, but importantly help them go beyond the basic checks and help them consider increasing and new emerging threats.

What the driving test fraud scenario shows is that you can never stand still. You have to continually assess your policies and processes to deal with today whilst planning for tomorrow.

Identity verification technology didn’t previously exist to tackle driving test fraud. But it does now. Technology exists that can verify identity information and documents match the identity of the holder. This could be done easily at the test centre with the candidate standing right in front of you, including real time facial recognition and comparison tests. – thereby fitting in with your business process.

We would advise the DVLA, just as we would any of our clients, to go beyond the basic identity check and instead take a holistic view and carry out more comprehensive checks on individuals and ID Documents, cross-checking against multiple datasets. There is an obvious and clear need to put best practice fraud prevention processes and technology (that’s available today) in place to address the driving test fraud issue.

As part of Contego’s identity verification process we can read and extract data from a multitude of complex documents including: passports, visas, ID cards, utility bills, biometric residence permits and both provisional and standard driving licenses. A user can use a smartphone or tablet to upload an image of an identity document to the Contego platform, and within seconds a pass, fail or refer result is given back allowing the user to instantly make crucial, data-driven decisions. In the driver test scenario these checks can be carried out whilst checking in for the test appointment.

The ability to store ID documents securely and the availability of a complete audit trail of all access to the system, by user and by transaction, allows for employee accountability, assists internal audit and compliance processes.

“Recent advances in biometrics and facial recognition promise to hold the key to faster ID checks and ultimately a seamless and more reliable process. A driving licence can be forged, but biometric data and facial recognition are not so easily duped. Here at Contego we are continually investigating and developing new technologies to improve verification and matching of data to images.” James Meyer, Product Director of Identity, Contego.

If identity verification is important in your business and you’d like to reduce your fraud and be ready to tackle increasing fraud threats, then get in touch with us today by calling +44 (0) 1235 375 000 or visit the Contego website to find out more and book an online demo.

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