Passport Fraud: Scores Enter U.S. Illegally

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted July 5, 2018 at 8:00PM

For months, a massive passport fraud scheme allowed foreign nationals to enter the United States illegally.

Furthermore, many remain in the country, despite efforts to find and deport them.

It’s a troubling story, no doubt. But there are many others like it — some of which are never uncovered.

It’s also one of the main reasons I’m currently recommending a small company that could solve this problem… and make a mint in the process.

I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let me explain how such a shocking breach could occur in the first place...

You see, the trouble started in Hungary, a former Soviet satellite state that saw a mass exodus following World Wars I and II.

I myself am part Hungarian, as my ancestors fled the country following WWI. Others fled in the aftermath of WWII, and still more fled after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Today, Hungary is trying to bring back some of its lost population. And as part of that effort, the government launched a program that allowed ethnic Hungarians to obtain citizenship in an expedited manner.

Since 2011, more than 1 million people have obtained Hungarian citizenship through that program — but not everyone is on the up-and-up.

About 700 non-Hungarians fraudulently obtained authentic Hungarian passports and assumed the identities of the original passport holders.

Of that group, at least 85 tried to travel to the United States, and 65 entered through the U.S. visa waiver program. And as recently as a few months ago, many remained inside the country.

Indeed, as members of the EU, Hungarians are eligible for visa-free travel to the United States. That makes Hungarian passports especially attractive on the black market.

And now, American citizens have been put at risk.

“The most obvious risk here is that people are coming to the United States who have a reason to disguise their identity,” said Stewart Baker, formerly a senior DHS official who dealt with transnational threats in Europe and the Middle East. “Common reasons for doing this are drug smuggling, organized crime or illegal immigration.”

“The most troubling reasons would be a well-organized terrorist organization like ISIS or al-Qaeda might purchase these documents... or the Russian spies we kicked out might fly to Ukraine, buy a Hungarian passport and fly back to the U.S.,” he added.

Notably, these alleged citizens were also given the right to vote in Hungary’s general election.

The whole episode shows just how big and widespread passport and other forms of identification fraud are.

And they’re obviously not limited to Hungary.

Things like this happen right here at home, too.

For example, an ex-FBI agent in west Texas, Rhonda Lynn Chesser Lindstrom, was sentenced to four years of probation for lying about personal information on her 2014 passport application.

And in West Virginia, Mohammed Maaz, an Indian national also known as Adam Rizk, tried to use a fake passport to obtain a birth certificate.

In June, British newspaper The Daily Mail found black-market British passports being sold on Facebook.

One Facebook page in Arabic, called “European Passports For Sale VIP” claimed to sell passports from £800 to £2,600.

“We are not traffickers,” the group said. “We’re just selling the passport and are not responsible for your travel or smuggling.”

Another Facebook group called “asylum seekers cargo” said it was working to serve displaced Syrians, but was really just an illegal marketplace for passports and other forms of ID.

Some passports were stolen, while others were cloned with details taken from legitimate citizens.

And in India, the Chennai police recently busted a fake passport racket and arrested 11 people. They recovered 80 duplicate Indian passports, 12 Sri Lankan passports, a laptop, hard disk, scanning machine, color printer, and fake seals.

No doubt, this is a massive, worldwide epidemic. And it’s spreading rapidly, as refugee crises balloon and cyberattacks become more sophisticated.

Still, there is a solution.

In fact, I recently launched my own stock advisory service, The Wealth Warrior, to address (and profit from) just this kind of problem.

And one of my very first recommendations is a cybersecurity firm that makes secure ID cards, such as drivers' licenses, electronic passports, and visas.

That means physical IDs, as well as secure digital IDs — mobile identification and paperless processes.

The fact is, nations need IDs that can’t be forged, and digital solutions to ensure speedy passage through airports, train stations, border checkpoints, and other bottlenecks.

This company provides them. And the market for those products is poised to grow to $11.2 billion in 2019, up from $8.5 billion in 2017.

Just click here to get my full report on that company, and join The Wealth Warrior.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of The Wealth Warrior, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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