Official Birth Certificates
The normal procedure for obtaining a valid and certified birth certificate is the state in which the person was born or an agency in which is hired by the state to issue birth certificates on its behalf. There are times when a person or person(s) seek to falsify a document for criminal purposes, which is a major offense. Forgery is the act of changing a document in such a way as to deceive another person. For example, if a person changes the name of the Mother or Father on his birther certificate the person would be legally the recipient of an inheritance from the Father or Mother. Below are some red flags which a person receiving an official document can observe as indications that the document was changed or forged from an original and possibly has been changed.
During a routine background check, it is possible to come across a forged document showing tampering marks. If the Father or Mother’s names have been changed from other information received from an official background check it should be observed as a red flag and a serious sign of document tampering. Often those who are seeking to obtain illegal benefits from one or another person will change the name of a parent in order to obtain hereditary or inheritance claims. Forgery carries fines of $4K and possibly 10 years in prison.
Of all the types of forgeries that proliferate falsifying information about a person, it all begins with a fraudulent birth certificate. There are over 7000 state of local offices in the United States and each one of them is able to issue birth certificates. A birth certificate is easy to obtain since it is such a simple form that is prevalent in a wide scale and once one is obtained it can be easily filled in to suit the forger’s criminal intent. In 1988 the Office of the Inspector General issued a twenty-one-page document on “Birth Certificate Fraud.” The document covered the problem, the agencies, and the procedures which are to be adhered to safeguard the issue of a birth certificate.
One of the major problems caused by a fraudulently created birth certificate is the creation of a false identity, which can run as a plague thru society and opens the door for many fraudulent citizens, credit defrauders, illegal borrowing of money or applying for loans, purchases, etc. One of the reasons why fraudulent documents are so prevalent is because of each state’s statutes on protecting birth record authorization and rights. Primary users of birth certificates like Social Security, State welfare agencies, and driver’s bureaus, have a huge task of certifying the validity of the birth certificate.
A recent report showed that within a 15 state radius nearly 15,000 different seals were used to validate a birth certificate. There is no one database that shows all of the images used to date. Given the facts that the birth certificate is so easily forged for illegal purposes in so many ways, the U.S. Government made major recommendations to help solve the fraudulent use of birth certificates.
First, that a standardized document is created to be used by all issuing agencies. Secondly, that the document or form be made of bank-note
style paper, the same as that in which money is printed and can be easily recognizable.
Findings show that the state offices of vital records are the best safeguard in checking for fraudulent birth certificates to date.