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The Truth about Fake CSCS Cards: Staying Safe and Legitimate

Nauman Farooq

Oct 10, 2023

Read time : 09 mins

Table of contents

What is a Fake CSCS Card?
How to Spot a Fake CSCS Card
What to Do If You Spot a Fake CSCS Card
How to Avoid Workers with Fake CSCS Cards
The Dangers Of Fake CSCS Cards
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wrap Up

Being an employer in the construction industry, you’re always under threat of fraudulent who try to get jobs with fake CSCS cards. According to the Health and Safety Executive, accidents at work cost businesses £16.2 billion. It shows that workers are not aware of health and safety practices, and a fake CSCS card is one of the reasons. That’s the reason, it’s important to understand how you can spot a fake CSCS card and what are the necessary actions to take when you come across such a situation

What is a Fake CSCS Card?

A fake CSCS card is a fraudulent representation of a valid CSCS card. Individuals willing to work in the construction industry create this card through illegal means. The main purpose of using a fake CSCS card is to get a job and gain access to construction sites.

These counterfeit cards mimic the appearance and design of genuine CSCS cards but are not issued or authorised by the official CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) scheme. These cards may display incorrect or forged information regarding the individual’s training, certifications, and industry experience. The production, possession, or use of a fake CSCS card is considered a serious offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

How to Spot a Fake CSCS Card

Since there could be serious consequences for hiring a worker with a fake CSCS card (which will be discussed later in the blog), it’s extremely important to spot a fake CSCS card. To help you out with this, I’ve compiled a list of critical checks which you must ensure if they are present on the CSCS cards.

checks to spot a fake cscs card


Name on the CSCS CardTo verify a CSCS card, first ensure that the name on the card matches the ID. If the names don’t fit, it’s likely a fake or borrowed card. Additionally, check the card’s formatting and date; older cards have titles and initials, while newer ones display the full name.
Expiry DateThe expiry date is an important way to identify a CSCS card. Most CSCS cards are valid for 5 years, except for Red CSCS Cards, which last for 1 year. If the card has an expiry date that is more than 5 years away, it’s likely fake. Also, if the expiry date format doesn’t match the card variation, it’s a red flag.
Registration NumberEvery CSCS card should have a unique registration number for identification. You can use this number to check the card’s validity with the CITB card checker.
Smart Card MicrochipThe latest cards may not have a visible microchip but will have a contactless symbol next to the picture. Using an NFC reader, you can verify the card and access the operative’s profile.
PictureIf the card is fake, relying solely on the picture may not be enough. CSCS requires a passport-style photo and that must be with a plain background.
CSCS HologramThere’s one thing common in all CSCS cards, which is a hologram in the top left corner. This hologram is difficult to fake but not impossible, so having it doesn’t guarantee the card’s authenticity.
CITB Card CheckerThe most reliable way to ensure a CSCS card is valid and genuine is to use the CITB card checker.

What to Do If You Spot a Fake CSCS Card

If you ever find a fake CSCS card, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • If possible, keep the original card and make copies of both the front and back.
  • According to company rules, deny access to the person on-site to the extent permitted by law.
  • Ask the cardholder where they got the card from.
  • Try to record the name and address of the person holding the card.
  • Immediately get to the local police.

Forward copies of all evidence to the CSCS address or email it to [email protected].

How to Avoid Workers with Fake CSCS Cards

If you want to avoid hiring workers with fake CSCS cards, you can apply for CSCS cards on behalf of your employees. Taking control of the application process provides several advantages. Firstly, it saves your business valuable time and resources by hiring the right candidates with real CSCS cards. This helps streamline the recruitment process and you will only have eligible candidates for the jobs.

The Dangers Of Fake CSCS Cards

If you hire a person with a fake CSCS card, it welcomes many dangers. And in case of an accident, fatality, or any kind of loss, you will be responsible for the consequences. It’s due to the fact that you’re the business owner and hiring the right candidates is your responsibility. Otherwise, you can have a high number of accidents or fatalities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you get a dodgy CSCS card?
Some people go for dodgy or fake CSCS cards. But now, these cards have smart technology, and the CSCS Smart Check app helps detect fake cards easily and quickly.

How can I identify a fake CSCS card?
You can identify a fake CSCS card by checking certain details such as the card design, holograms, and security features. You can also use the CSCS Card Checker.

What are the consequences of using or possessing a fake CSCS card?
In that case, you can face legal consequences as well as loss of your job. It can also affect your future job opportunities.

What should I do if I suspect someone is using a fake CSCS card on a construction site?
If you suspect someone is using a fake CSCS card on a construction site, you must report your suspicions to the appropriate authorities. This matter must be properly investigated and for that, you must notify the site supervisor, project manager, or contact the CSCS.

Wrapping Up: Fake CSCS Card

It is extremely important to remain vigilant and informed about the truth surrounding fake CSCS cards. It’s because hiring any employee with a fake CSCS card could cost you a lot. Being an employer, you must ensure the safety and legitimacy of the construction industry.