COMPANIES and individuals are losing millions of dollars due to fraud involving fake identification documents, the Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has said.

Addressing officials from Government departments, insurers and lawyers at a death registration workshop in Bulawayo yesterday, Mr Mudede said authorities should check the authenticity of registration documents before processing benefits for members of the public to avoid fraudulent cases that are on the increase.

He said there was an increase in people who present fake identification documents to claim from deceased estates, process international visas, claim compensation from insurance companies, get employment or defraud companies and individuals.

He said it was important for authorities to check with his office before processing anything as some people were producing counterfeit documents.

“From 2004 we have gone biometric and our documents have a lot of security features of international standards. While we are doing this, there are those who want to live on fraud.

“They produce counterfeits which are similar to our documents. They go to the authorities and produce these counterfeits. The authorities don’t have machines to verify. They look at the documents which look genuine and process benefits on the basis of what they have been given,” said Mr Mudede.

The most important thing, Mr Mudede said, is for these people to verify with the Registrar General’s department.

“We’re advising authorities to check with us for verification to avoid fraudulent cases of people who want to benefit from where they are not supposed to benefit. People are falling prey to such fraudulent cases.

“The security features on our documents are checked on our machines and we can tell you whether a document in question is genuine or not,” said Mr Mudede.

He said it was unfortunate that some authorities were accepting burial orders to process benefits for relatives of deceased people yet these are just temporary documents to facilitate burials.

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