I read the answer on this page and I have a similar question about a visa instead of a passport.

Can someone impersonate your identity with only the visa information?

Also, does the answer in the link really make sense? Obtaining credit, etc are not possible without original document. How can one obtain credit with only the scanned copy of a passport?


What can they do? Not a whole lot: unlike a passport, a visa is not considered a valid form of identification, so it can't be used to verify a (fake/cloned) identity and it can't even be used to enter a country without a matching passport.

That said, while visas vary considerably, some do include sensitive information like your full legal name, your birthdate, your place of birth etc, all of which are useful building blocks for identity theft.

Re: proof of identity and original documents, I applied for a new credit card last week and all I needed for it was scans of my IDs and some docs that would be fairly easy to falsify, like payslips. So, yes, it's entirely possible to get credit using somebody else's passport scan without showing physical ID.

  • Thank you for the info! I believe identity theft is not something specific to scanned copies. It has more to do with the info contained within them. Shockingly, most stuff you mentioned (DOB, Place of Birth, Legal Name) are not very hard to obtain! One can get to know them without a scanned copy of an ID document as well! – Cosmonavt Jul 30 '17 at 18:41
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    Scans of your ID, wow. I've applied for credit cards that required no documentation whatsoever, just personal details on the application form (though they reserve the right to request documents if needed). – Zach Lipton Jul 30 '17 at 19:33

To your extended question: yes, you can (get credit with scanned copies)

Most credit card issuers in the US are eager to sell you a credit card, and none of them ever meets you in person and sees your documentation. All they ask is your personal info, not even scanned copies. So if someone knows your name, SSN, and address, he can order credit cards in your name (they will come in the mail, so he needs to steal your mail, or add a step with a fake address change).

  • But a scanned copy of a passport or visa would not provide your Social Security nor address, so how does this relate to the OP's question? – user13044 Jul 30 '17 at 15:45
  • Visas (or passports) do not contain SSN, or address. Whilst your comments might be correct, they are irrelevant to this question. – Doc Jul 30 '17 at 15:54
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    The OP has added a further question in reaction to another answer, where he specs 'Passport'. Your address is more or less public (just google your name), and some passports include addresses. – Aganju Jul 30 '17 at 16:16
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    Before I locked my credit records, I was constantly being offered "pre-approved" cards. Anyone could have taken one out of my mailbox and filled it out with a different address as if I had moved. Almost no one ever asks for ID anymore, and I once used a friend's credit card (at her request) to pick up some groceries for her. The cashier didn't even notice the extreme improbability;it's that a male would be named Elizabeth. – WGroleau Jul 30 '17 at 22:49

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