Journalist's Investigation Into Online Fake ID Market

WFTV channel 9 had recently conducted investigation into online fake IDs market. Journalists found out that thriving Fake IDs and driver's licenses trade that had been around for years proliferated even more in the recent times. Additionally, the forged IDs market operators became more sophisticated in their methods of production and delivery. As per un-named local police officer, illegally obtained drivers licenses are printed with such a high quality that only thorough checks allow to determine their forged nature. At a glance, they look exactly the same as real ones.

The reporters went as far as ordering fake IDs online. They found out a website which advertised premium quality identity cards for sale and paid for their order by means of Western Union money transfer, to Chinese resident. The website provided detailed instruction on ordering and payment process, as well as photo tips, and generally had good and responsive customer service. Additionally, the website showcased photo and video proofs of fake identity cards, showing them from different angles and in different light conditions. Journalists admit that these proof looked very realistic and convinced them of the legitimacy of the offer. Such websites are able to operate in the clearnet because they are hosted abroad, most of the times in Asia, where USA laws do not apply. Their printing facilities are located abroad too.

Freshly printed fake ID arrived in the mail in 2 weeks in a plain looking envelope. Inside was the ID which looked pretty much like the real one, albeit with some minor differences. The vendor took care about stealth aspect of the delivery, placing the identity card between generic postcards, so the letter crossed the borders and was delivered to the address without any problems whatsoever.

Upon receiving the ID, Channel 9 reporters ventured out to local bars, clubs and liquor stores to try their fake ID in real life situations. Most of the times they were successful: the information encoded on the bar-code appeared to be valid, which allowed them to buy alcohol and cigarettes.

It is predicted that fake IDs will keep getting better as the printing technology improves.

Despite the apparent ease of obtaining a fake ID, Channel 9 issued a warning:

"Underage drinking in the state of Florida is a misdemeanor, but possessing a fraudulent ID or DL is a felony. So you are committing a felony to commit a misdemeanor."