High-Risk Customer Types in Remote Identity Verification

Pablo Nebreda

Pablo Nebreda

When it comes to remote identity verification, it’s crucial for businesses to be able to identify high-risk customer types. These individuals pose increased risks, such as fraud, money laundering, or identity theft, which can be detrimental to the reputation and security of any organization. In this article, we’ll discuss seven high-risk customer types and how to effectively identify them.

1. Known Fraudsters

Known fraudsters are individuals who have been involved in fraudulent activities in the past. Recognizing these customers before onboarding is essential to protect your business. One way to identify them is by implementing a fraud database check. This check allows you to cross-reference customer information against known fraudster databases or watchlists.

2. Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

Politically Exposed Persons, or PEPs, are individuals who hold prominent public positions or have close associations with them. These individuals are at higher risk of being involved in corruption or money laundering activities. To identify PEPs, you can use reliable data sources that provide PEP lists and perform regular screenings during the onboarding process.

3. Sanctioned Individuals

Sanctioned individuals are those who have been restricted by governments or international bodies due to their involvement in illegal activities or connections to terrorist organizations. To identify sanctioned individuals, you can utilize sanction lists from reliable sources and comply with sanctions screening regulations.

4. High-Value Customers

High-value customers are clients with significant financial resources or those who conduct large transactions. While they may not inherently be high-risk, they can still attract the attention of criminals. Identifying high-value customers allows you to allocate appropriate resources for their due diligence while minimizing the risk of facilitating illicit activities.

5. Shell Companies

Shell companies are often used as a front for money laundering or other illicit activities. To identify shell companies, you can conduct business verification checks by verifying the company’s registration details, shareholders, and company structure. Additionally, checking the company’s financial stability and previous transactions can help identify suspicious activities.

6. Synthetic Identities

Synthetic identities are created by combining real and fake information to create a false identity. These identities are commonly used for fraudulent purposes. To detect synthetic identities, it’s important to validate customer information thoroughly. This can include verifying identity documents, cross-referencing data, and conducting biometric checks.

7. High-Risk Industries

Some industries inherently carry a higher risk due to their nature or regulatory requirements. Examples include online gambling, cryptocurrency, or adult entertainment. Identifying customers associated with high-risk industries can help tailor your due diligence processes accordingly.


Identifying high-risk customer types is a critical step in the remote identity verification process. By implementing effective identification methods such as fraud database checks, PEP screenings, sanction lists, business verification, and thorough validation of customer information, businesses can mitigate risks and protect their organization’s reputation and security.

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