CitizenCard, the leading PASS card issuing company, has released new data showing that 13% of applicants fail to qualify for a card because of errors in their application. Most of these are a result of honest mistakes but about 3% of card applications are rejected because fraud is suspected.
Andrew Chevis, Citizencard Chief Executive said:
"Over the past year 13% of applications for a PASS card have been rejected. Often people have just been careless and failed to follow basic requirements. Common mistakes are failing to sign the card; submitting a photograph that does not meet PASS requirements or applications verified by someone who is not eligible."
"We do receive a small, but significant, number of fraudulent applications. People naively think that we will take their submission on trust but we check everything. Dates of birth are cross referenced with the national birth register and we always ring referees to confirm that they really have endorsed the application." (see below for Case Studies)
"Our staff can smell a fraud a mile off and they take enormous pride in ensuring that no one slips through the net. And to date, no fraudulent card has ever been found in circulation."
"We don’t want to disappoint people and we give them three opportunities to get it right. But if they cannot provide robust evidence of their identity and their age, they will not get a CitizenCard. In the end, it’s in their interest that people have total confidence in PASS cards".
PASS Chairman, Robert Humphreys said:
"I would like to thank CitizenCard for publishing this new analysis which highlights the very stringent standards that apply to anyone applying for a PASS card. All PASS card issuers are regularly audited by Trading Standards to ensure that they are meeting the very demanding quality criteria laid down by the PASS Board."
"People who hold a PASS card have the right to expect that it should command total trust from retailers, door staff and police. Our rigorous quality standards are one of the ways that we build this credibility."
- A 19 year old girl from Scotland forged a signature on her photograph. It was a good forgery but of course it came to light when we rang the referee who told us that she had not signed the picture. This was a particularly stupid mistake as she only did it to save time but made things even more serious by forging a police officer’s signature.
- A 16 year old boy from the West Midlands who had photoshopped his birth certificate to change his year of birth from 1996 to 1994. This was revealed when we cross checked his birthday with the date on record at the General Register Office, which is part of Her Majesty's Passport Office.
- A 17 year old boy from Lincolnshire who forged a teacher’s signature. When we rang the school, there was no teacher with that name on the staff.
Notes to Editors
CitizenCard is a proof of age and identity card operated by a non-profit company owned by ACS, Camelot, Co-Op, Experian, Ladbrokes, NFRN and TMA. Bearing the PASS hologram CitizenCard is well-established as the UK’s most widely-recognised ID card. Accepted by virtually every retail outlet as valid ID, the card (now available as a Visa prepaid card) displays a date of birth and an age band allowing holders to prove that they are young enough or old enough to access age-restricted goods and services. For more information visit the Citizencard website http://www.citizencard.com/
The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is the industry-led national proof of age accreditation scheme, supported by the Home Office, ACPO and the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). There are currently five national schemes and twelve local schemes which are licensed to issue cards bearing the PASS hologram. Only cards schemes which meet the stringent standards required for PASS accreditation are licensed to apply the PASS hologram to their cards. Accredited card schemes are audited on a regular basis by Trading Standards Officers to ensure that they comply with PASS requirements. For more information about PASS visit http://www.pass-scheme.org.uk/