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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. West German customs employee checking an alleged fake document. The term also encompasses the activity of acquiring identity documents from governing bodies by falsifying the required supporting documentation in order to create the desired identity.
Identity documents differ from other credentials in that they are intended to be usable by only the person holding the card. Unlike other credentials, they may be used to restrict the activities of the holder as well as to expand them. At the beginning of 2010, there were 11 million stolen or lost passports listed in the global database of Interpol. Such falsified documents can be used for identity theft, age deception, illegal immigration, and organized crime.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s fake service card with the name Hidell. A distinction needs to be made between the different uses of an identity document.
In one cases, the fake ID may only have to pass a cursory inspection, such as flashing a plastic ID card for a security guard. At the other extreme, a document may have to resist scrutiny by a trained document examiner, who may be equipped with technical tools for verifying biometrics and reading hidden security features within the card.