63-709††††††† Fraudulent/Altered Documents



The information in this section provides instructions regarding the actions to take when the client presents potentially fraudulent and/or altered documents. A referral to the Public Assistance Fraud Division (PAFD) should only be initiated when the reported information is deemed questionable.



Identification of Fraudulent/
Altered Documents

Workers must observe care when evaluating the verifications provided by the client. The workers must review each verification to ensure that it is consistent with all other information provided by the applicant/recipient.


  Birth Verification


The birth verification presented should be reviewed and compared to any previous information, application statements and case record documentation.


-  A certified birth record should have the official government seal of the birthplace.

-  Most birth certificates are printed on a high quality paper with watermarks and a border that should have slightly raised print, referred to as an intaglio, which is rough to the touch.

-  Legitimate birth certificates will usually not have erasures, whiteout marks or alterations in any manner and any such alterations should make the document immediately suspect.


  DMV Identification Card or License


The physical description and other identifying factors on the DMV Identification Card or License presented to establish identification must be compared to the person and any other documentation available.


-   Compare the date of birth, hair color, eye color, marital status, address, picture and signature to your observations about the person and previous documentation.

-  Check the card for any signs of alteration; some samples of alteration include: raised areas where the card may have been cut and pasted; overlapping print or words extending beyond the type space; or, an unusual photo background.


  Social Security Card


The appearance and feel of the Social Security Cards presented should be as described below:


-  Social Security Cards issued by Social Security Administration have raised printing, referred to as intaglio.

-  The print on legitimate Social Security Cards is clear, the typing does not overlap the borders which are sharply in focus, the words "Social Security" are shaded and there are small colored dots on the paper stock of the card. Note: This description applies to current card stock. There were previous formats used by Social Security that are still valid.


  Alien Registration Card


The information on the Alien Registration card should be consistent with information in the case record and should appear unaltered.


-  Fraudulent cards often do not have the same "A" number on the front and the back; both sides of the Alien Registration card should be checked to ensure the numbers match.

-  The seal on legitimate Alien Registration cards is imprinted on the card just barely touching a portion of the left side of the person's picture.



Actions to Take

Potentially fraudulent or altered documents should not be accepted as documentation to establish eligibility. When the validity of the document has been deemed questionable, the worker must document the situation and gather information to initiate a fraud referral.


Analyze and Document


The worker is to examine the potentially fraudulent or altered document to determine all the specific reasons he/she believes the document is not legitimate.


The worker will:


  Make an enlarged copy of the document and retain it in the case file;

  Write a complete narrative entry with specific information about the specific documentation that appeared fraudulent/altered;

  Inform the client that the documents presented are not acceptable and have the client sign a release of information so original documents can be requested;

  Return the documents to the client because there is no legal authority to confiscate personal property;

  Attempt to verify any potentially fraudulent or altered document by ordering birth certificates, using SAVE for INS documents, running DMV for verifying CDLs, etc. and document all efforts in the case record; and

  If unable to establish the legitimacy of a document necessary for eligibility, initiate a fraud referral specifically stating the reason for suspecting the documentís validity and attaching a

  copy of the potentially fraudulent/altered document.