By the AllClear ID Team
Matt here, AllClear Investigator. While it is common knowledge that using a fake ID is illegal, thousands of young people obtain and attempt to use them every year. A 2010 University of Missouri study found that nearly 32 percent of underage college students own and use false identification in order to purchase alcoholic beverages by the end of their sophomore year. Obtaining a “fake” can be as simple as borrowing an ID from the guy next door with a similar hair cut to as high tech as ordering an individually tailored, hologram version. There are several such services in China that these budding drinkers can find by merely typing “fake ID from China” in to Google. Anyone with an Internet connection and $75 to $200 can order their personalized ID card online from such companies as ID Chief. Buyers pick the state, address, and name, and send in a scanned photo and signature to complete their profile. Digital holograms are replicated, PVC plastic identical to that found in credit cards is used, and ink appearing only under ultraviolet light is stamped onto the cards.
Beyond the illegality of using a fake ID, there is a potentially more harmful drawback to even obtaining this type of ID. The “company” that is producing your new ID could also be stealing your identity at the same time. Very little is needed to steal someone’s identity. By using Google, Facebook, and public records, a skilled hacker can eventually gather enough information to access a Social Security number. By filling out the ID order form, you’re just saving them the time. ”They’re giving you a fake ID in the process, but they are essentially buying your data,” says John Sileo, an identity-theft expert who has worked with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Defense. An American identity is extremely valuable in the black market, and these ID companies could just be a front for a multimillion dollar identity-theft ring.
The moral of this story, like most, is that you always want to be incredibly careful when it comes to the passing along of your PII, or personal identifiable information. No matter how bad something is desired, or how great of a deal it seems there can always be an unknown negative intention at play. One should always remain vigilant and skeptical.
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Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.