As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague industries, healthcare agencies are making strides to return society to regular life.
In industries like tourism, a negative COVID-19 test is necessary to book a flight or make hotel reservations, even when travelling within the same country. There are also many different situations when a person needs to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.
And this new regulation presents an opportunity for people to falsify their test results. Cases of fake COVID test results pop up in the news worldwide, from Brazil to India and Croatia.
Unfortunately, the available PCR verification tests solutions are insufficient in detecting forgeries. So, there is an urgent need for COVID-19 PCR verification software to spot fake tests.
In this article, we will discuss AI-powered COVID-19 PCR verification solutions and how to check COVID-19 test results with machine learning technologies.
But first, let’s go through some statistical data on fake PCR tests.
Fake COVID-19 PCR test statistics
The use of PCR verification to check COVID-19 results is a “young” technology, which makes it difficult to gather comprehensive data on forgeries.
Source: Our World In Data
But through diligent research, we have collected some interesting facts and figures from around the globe, and we’ll share them with you:
- Counterfeit PCR tests harm the healthcare and financial sectors. According to an IATA survey, the cost of fake COVID-19 tests ranges from 77 USD in Australia to 90 USD in Japan. You can also get a same-day COVID-19 test in the United States for 100-150 USD.
- The UK’s Cabinet Office has also released projections that COVID-related fraud will cost the government around 1.3 billion GBP (2.3 billion USD) and 7.9 billion GBP (2.3 billion USD).
- In the same vein, the UK government has also reported that people use fake test results to gain compensation from the NHS. According to the HM Revenue and Customs, 10% of all recipients used falsified coronavirus records.
Reacting to these projections, the Metropolitan Police has boosted COVID test verification services to limit the potential financial losses.
- The situation is worse in other parts of Europe. In Croatia, 45 passengers trying to cross the border failed the mandatory RT-PCR report verification — and this was just in one county over a weekend.
- As it stands, the city of Detroit, Michigan, witnessed the largest arrest in a fraud case involving fake COVID-19 test results. The Department of Justice estimates that the defendants gained over 11 million USD by providing fake RT-PCR negative verification services.
- Furthermore, the FBI warns companies to implement PCR verification techniques to detect and check COVID-19 certificates. Based on the nationwide directive, companies could go bankrupt from coronavirus compensations.
- In developing countries of South America and Africa, the state of PCR validation test internal quality control is deplorable. Due to the lack of real-time PCR validation test, tourists can travel with fake corona tests hassle-free.
Fake PCR test and issues that they cause
Let’s check out the negative impacts of fake coronavirus tests:
- Threatens public safety
Any time a fake COVID-19 test passes PCR verification, it exposes millions of people to possible infection. Since COVID-19 tests are now essential travel documents, falsifying them means that a sick person risks spreading the virus to unsuspecting people around.
- Undermines the efforts of health workers
Since the start of the pandemic, healthcare professionals have been on the frontline, putting in overtime shifts to attend to the sick. With that in mind, every failed COVID PCR verify exposes health workers to the coronavirus and undermines their immaculate sacrifice to combat the spread.
- Promotes fraud
Corona test verification is an in-demand service at the moment. As a result, scammers now promote platforms where people can obtain fake COVID-19 tests. Also, PCR verification officials worry about the potential increase in cases of falsified health reports.
- Harms the economy
From the UK example mentioned earlier, fake coronavirus tests can cost countries billions of dollars in revenue. The FBI also reported that one US company lost over 170 000 USD due to falsified COVID claims.
How to identify fake COVID-19 test results
COVID-19 test result forgery verification is a very complicated procedure. Sometimes, you can spot forgeries with the naked eye. Other times, you might need advanced technological tools for the validation of COVID-19 test results.
Image forgery detection solution to check fake COVID-19 test
SDK.finance is actively developing an AI-based solution to validate the authenticity of COVID-19 test results.
How does the image forgery detection solution work to check fake COVID-19 test results?
1) Ask your clients to upload the document for the online verification process (or upload any)
2) Document scanning and validation process using AI, ML technologies:
– Testing pixels for authenticity. In other words, the solution detects any changes in a pdf/jpg file. This product answers the question “does this file was photoshopped or not
– File metadata checking. Extract metadata recorded behind the files, ranging from file size, data, geolocation and modification history to the software tools used to create them
3) Get a verdict that confirms the verification attempt as genuine or mark it as fraudulent (fake).
Below you can see the result of the COVID-19 test verification. Artificial intelligence highlighted those areas where changes in pixels were detected. In other words, this COVID-19 test result was ‘photoshopped and is not genuine.
The validation of COVID-19 test results is a public health concern currently. Government agencies, law enforcement, and businesses are trying to avoid financial losses from fake COVID tests.
With AI-powered verification tools, we can stem the tide of falsified documents and protect others from the marauding virus.