I bought my first fake ID at a swap meet when I was 14. It cost me $10, but wasn’t very good. Someone might have believed it was a California ID outside of California if they didn’t check, but not if I had actually been the one trying to use it and passing myself off for 21. (Nor would anyone likely have believed my name was Richard Blaine.)
When I was 17 though I managed to get a really good ID. For $40 a true artist took my real drivers license and replaced the name, address, and date of birth. It worked miracles.
Now, apparently, fake IDs are largely produced overseas. Through the end of June 1513 shipments have been seized at Chicago O’Hare alone that contained 19,888 fake drivers licenses. These mostly came from Hong Kong and China.
Customs presented a parade of horribles of what could happen with fake IDs.
“These counterfeit driver’s licenses can lead to disastrous consequences,” CBP’s Ralph Piccirilli said in a statement. “Criminal organizations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities.”
…”These fraudulent identity documents can lead to identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking,” CBP said in a news release, adding that, “these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize scrutiny from travel screening measures.”
After all the scare stories, Customs and Border Protection acknowledged “most of the fake IDs were for college-age students.” Isn’t the biggest risk then that someone could be tasked with buying booze for a non-socially distanced rager as colleges open this fall?
The federal government even spins that as a national security risk, just like kids dancing on TikTok, because “you’re giving out your personal information to criminals overseas.” But that doesn’t seem much different than having something drop shipped via Shopify, does it? For most of us the risk is near-zero because of security through obsurity. It’s not worth it for foreign actors to impersonate us.