Identity theft and associated scams are never out of the press, and from a company’s point of view, safeguarding against fraud is paramount. A recent UK Identity and Fraud report, conducted in 2023, reveals a concerning trend by demonstrating that 69% of organizations experienced higher losses from fraud compared to the 2022. 35% of consumers also felt that they might be at risk of fraud themselves, with identity theft being mentioned as the most significant threat.

One of the cornerstones of fraud prevention is identity checking or identity verification for not just customers, but also for employees working within the organisation. The identity verification process involves looking at data from diverse sources, such as online identities, and cross-referencing it with trusted data sources like credit reference agencies.


Digital Identity Checking

Traditionally, identity checking has always been done face to face. Recently however, the growth in technology has meant that more companies are verifying the identity of customers or employees online. This trend was accelerated by the pandemic, which had us all working at home and not going into the office. Checking identity online usually involves checking people’s details against trusted sources such as the Government Gateway portal or using credit reference agencies to verify information such as address. The latest advances in AI, or artificial intelligence, may also bring another change to the way in which employers check out their workers or customers.


Benefits of Identity Verification

There are many advantages to checking out the identities of the people you are dealing with from a business perspective, whether they are workers or customers. These include:

  • Cost savings – verifying identity can reduce losses due to fraud or other types of dishonesty. If companies can automate some or all of this process, cost savings can be even higher.
  • Prevention of identity fraud – modern fraudsters are getting more and more clever, and companies always need to be one step ahead. This means constantly reviewing what you are doing to check up on any new workers, customers and suppliers to ensure you know what the latest trends are and are taking steps to mitigate them.
  • Avoiding legal problems – not checking up properly on the people who are working for you can lead to your company being sued or getting into other legal difficulties caused by unqualified staff, or staff who don’t have the right to live and work in the UK.


Process for Identity Checking for Employees

Every company is different, and each will have its own process for checking the identities of job applicants. As a bare minimum, they should be asking applicants to supply their passport to make sure they have the right to live and work in the UK. Many companies choose to outsource this checking to a third-party agency in order to get the checks done more quickly and efficiently. The key to any identity checking process from an applicant’s point of view is that the employer should be clear about what they are checking, and why.