Need a fake student card or a fake Quebec driver's license? Nothing could be easier. Many websites offer personalized identity cards for any province of Canada or US state.
They go as far as guarantee absolute quality: scannable barcode, hologram, UV printing. Prices vary between 20 USD and 100 USD.
The phenomenon does not seem to worry the authorities excessively. The RCMP, the SQ and the SPVM all know about these sites and no one keeps an official report on seized fake identity cards.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center can only act if a consumer complains. A situation that worries, but does not surprise the head of the economic crime program at the Faculty of Continuing Education of the University of Montreal, Messaoud Abda:
"How can I initiate a case if I do not have a complaint? Of course, we can be pro-active, but if we look at the scope of the crimes that police forces must cover in these days, the priority is not at this level [...] class C offense is the identity theft that is a problem and especially in financial transactions where people can get loans, using more serious documents such as passports, and therefore live off the credit of a person or a name that is not theirs. "
After spending two minutes in front of a CEGEP in Montreal, a 17-year-old student admitted to regularly using a fake McGill student card to go out to bars or buy liquor at the convenience store.
"It's my picture, my real name, but it's not my true age. I am 19 years old. I have never been refused entry with this card. And I went to check it on the McGill website, it looked exactly the same," says the minor who wishes to remain anonymous.
However, she never tried her luck at the SAQ or casino. At the Casino de Montréal, security has identified 74 types of fake Quebec identity cards in circulation, which is twice as much as last year.
The Casino de Montréal even has an expert in fake ID cards that constantly updates his knowledge on the different subtleties of manufacturing, including hologram pictures.
"On the Internet, if you take the time to surf, you can find a lot of amazing stuff for every niche and sphere of interest. So, of course, the Internet is a mine of incredible information!" - explains his spokesman, Patrice Léger-Bourgoin. No wonder yougsters go straight to Google with "how to get a fake ID" question.
The Société des alcools du Québec does not have any figures to identify the problem.
On the other hand, in Ontario, the LCBO - which is the liquor company - is well aware of the phenomenon, but its employees do not have the power to seize ID cards that seem to be false.
Nevertheless, they still refused more than 270,000 transactions last year because of suspicion about the age of customers.