From big organizations to small businesses, every industry is in the run to provide convenience and security to its users. Due to COVID, a sudden surge in the use of digital platforms for daily operations occurs. The rising trend towards digital platforms has attracted scammers to use them for illegitimate practices. It becomes essential for every business to ensure security like document authentication for its customers.
Digital Identity theft, online financial scams, and other cybercrime are disrupting the digital environment. This escalated the need for some solution that will protect users from the above cybercrimes and the best one is Document Authentication.
What is Document Authentication?
The process of the verification of the customer’s identity through his documents is known as Document authentication. Only government-issued documents are used for identity verification of the customer such as ID card, driving license, or passport. This will kill the chances of digital identity theft and will give a better customer experience on online platforms.
How Does Online Document Verification Work?
Document Verification can be done through a mobile phone or computer having a webcam. The authenticity of documents against false, modified, or fake documents is also checked. Some scammers try to bypass the verification system by photoshopped documents but the document verification can couch them easily.
The process of document verification is done in three simple steps listed below:
- Capture or Upload: The user is asked to upload a previous picture or capture a live one for identity proofing
- Extract: The required information such as name, DOB, and address is extracted from the document.
- Confirmation: ID document arrangement and data are checked.
A user must verify his documents through the above steps before onboarding.
Scams in the Freelance Industry
Some scams associated with the freelance industry are discussed below:
This is the most common scam that is affecting freelancer platforms and the organization or people requesting a task on a freelance website. An organization or individual contacts with a freelancer, both seller and buyer agree on the time, cost, and requirements of the project. Then the freelancer asks for some advance payment or the freelance website has set this protocol. The buyer sends the advance payment to the seller.
After a while, the seller disappears and there is no way to contact him. The seller then requested for chargeback from the freelance website because they must assure the secure buying and selling process. This scam is similar to Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scam in the cryptocurrency market.
This scam is done from the client’s or buyer’s side. The deal is done like the previous one, the freelancer has done the task but this time the client disappears or not releasing payment. In some situations, the client does not want that task any more or have contact with some other freelancer that can do the same task at a low price. This will affect the freelancers and the freelance website a well.
Another type of freelance scam is when a freelance website is itself involved in the scam, for instance, takes the payment from the client but does not release it to the freelancer or sells the private data of buyers and sellers to some other entities.
Document Authentication for Seamless Freelance Operations
According to a report by SpendMeNot, the freelancers earned about USD 1 Trillion in 2019 and that was equal to 4.8% of the US GDP. Like other sectors, the freelance industry is also a potential target of scammers.
Verification of documents can combat plenty of scams in the freelance industry.
Normally in the freelancer scam when a freelancer disappears, the website tries to contact him. But all the information he provided like name, address, mobile number, or email is fake. Now the freelance business is responsible for payment security. It can face heavy chargebacks from victims and ultimately has to close its operations due to bad repute.
If the freelancer was verified before onboarding, his name and address are authentic, the risk of scam drops. A verified freelancer will not be involved in any scam or if involved it is easy to snatch him. The same protection is in the client scam.
Benefits of document checking in the freelance industry:
- Document verification will provide ease for risk assessment and customer due diligence (CDD)
- More confidence of clients and freelancer on online freelance websites
- Will encourage startups and new freelancers
- Compliance with the Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering guidelines
How Freelance Industry can Deploy Document Verification
It can avail this service by a third party that is online document verification services. Different KYC solution providers are providing document verification to different industries. The freelance websites just have to deploy KYC solutions to their platforms. Both buyers and sellers on the freelance website will feel secure during payment transfer and task delivery.