Credentials Fraud Detection and Prevention

Always on guard against fraud.

Our responsibility. Our tradition. And now the foundation for a new digital future for safe and secure credential verification.

For nearly 50 years, vigilance in fraud detection and prevention has been at the core of every service CGFNS International provides. Our fraud posture is based on the proposition that a total commitment to the validity and security of credentials is essential to evaluating job readiness, upholding standards of practice, maintaining the integrity of healthcare professions, and ensuring public safety.

CGFNS has a long history of taking the utmost care with data.

We use evidence-informedbest practices in guarding against document fraud. That commitment continues today, as we move toward wider adoption of secure online technologies that will further:

Mitigate risk
Safeguard critical data
Harden our services against fraud

Using best practices

For decades, credentials have taken paper form and, as such, their transmission has been handled by postal mail or courier service. Our anti-fraud protocols are centered on a corroborative-evidence approach, beginning with our requirement that certification documents must be conveyed directly to us by the institutions that issued them. We conduct fraud checks at every step in the process, taking extraordinary care to examine every aspect of a document for signs of deception or fabrication. We still do it this way, working diligently to apply evidence-based best practices and to use industry-leading anti-fraud tools in the collection and verification of the credential documents that we assess.

Today, these principles continue to guide us as we move away from hard-copy documents and toward secure digital transfer, access, and exchange of verified credential information—making our anti-fraud efforts even more robust.

Our new Credential Transfer Portal establishes a digital chain of custody that is many times more secure than conveyance of hard-copy documents via postal mail or courier. Through controlled digital access, it ensures that only those officials who have been fully vetted by CGFNS to act on behalf of an institution are able to submit verified credentials to us.

Guarding against fraud

We are experts in fraud detection and prevention measures specific to the credentials verification process. Our verification systems and processes are carefully constructed to anticipate, discover, and shut down any attempt to present fraudulent information or to otherwise deceive. Below are the elements of our holistic approach to fraud, which has been decades in the making and is constantly enhanced with the latest digital security techniques.

Our 5 commitments to fraud detection and prevention:

1.  We ensure primary source documentation.

CGFNS accepts credential records directly—and only directly—from the educational institutions, licensing boards, or professional associations that issued them.

For paper document submissions, we take extraordinary measures to confirm that all hard-copy documentation bears authentic seals, stamps, and signatures from the issuing authorities, and that they are conveyed to us only by individuals who are authorized to do so.

For digitally submitted credentials, those institutions that participate in our secure Credential Transfer Portal are thoroughly vetted by a special CGFNS team of experts, and they are required to reconfirm their authorized users to us every six months. Only authorized individuals from the verified institutions can send credentials and information via the Portal.

2. We know the institutions that send us genuine credential information—and we understand how they work.

By knowing and fully understanding the standards for training and licensure around the world, we can detect what is substandard and irregular—and potentially fraudulent. This is how we guard against illegitimate licenses and credentials from diploma mills and accreditation mills.

CGFNS maintains and constantly updates a broad database of the educational and licensing systems around the world—particularly in the source countries of our applicants—and we keep track of their accreditation and corresponding documentation practices.

We also check the smallest details of submitted credentials to ensure that terminologies, grading scales, and other characteristics are fully consistent with those used by the institutions that purportedly issued them.

3. We carefully secure and protect the integrity of all submitted information.

CGFNS verifies that an applicant’s credentials qualify them to practice in the profession being sought. We verify that the educational institution’s accreditation was valid and active during the time the applicant was enrolled in their program of study and received the credential. We require all institutions submitting through our Credential Transfer Portal to communicate with us directly on the platform or via their official institutional email address.

For paper document submissions, we closely examine all hard-copy documents to ensure they are genuine and have not been altered, forged, or otherwise tampered with. We validate that the security features used by issuing institutions are present—such as safety paper, watermarks, phosphorescent microfibers, thermo-chromatic ink, microprinting, holographic imaging, QR codes, and “void” alerts present only on reproductions.

For digitally submitted credentials, the CGFNS Credential Transfer Portal ensures that all credential information uploaded by participating institutions is fully legitimate. In cases where CGFNS uses online verification systems created by the educational institutions, licensure authorities, or certification boards themselves, we take measures to ensure these systems are developed and maintained for the purpose of capturing, storing, and exchanging verified credentials and that they are fully secure.

4. We take absolutely nothing at face value.

Going the extra mile in our anti-fraud practices applies to both hard-copy submissions and information provided via our secure Credential Transfer Portal.

CGFNS cross-references all biodata, checking information on the documents with other available sources and verifies details such as graduation dates, licensure numbers, and other relevant information.

We ensure information on documents is consistent with the individual’s resume or application, and we look for any discrepancies in job titles, dates of employment, or other details.

5. We deploy industry-leading cybersecurity tools.

CGFNS uses state-of-the-art solutions and practices to ensure our online systems are secure and to harden our processes against fraud.

Our protocols include MFA (multi-factor authentication) and secure access gateways to CGFNS networks. All systems are hardened using Advanced Endpoint Protection and other web security tools. Annual security and penetration testing is conducted by an outside and independent cybersecurity firm.

CGFNS also retains a best-in-class Managed Detection and Response (MDR) firm that provides comprehensive cybersecurity services including continuous monitoring, threat detection, incident response, and remediation support. It combines advanced technology, threat intelligence, and skilled analysts to actively hunt for and respond to cyber threats in real time.

We deploy these capabilities for over 100 regulators who receive our reports.