How The Prices Of Fake Passports Are Formed: Power, Scarcity And Demand

Obtaining false papers on the darknet is not complicated or even very expensive. In one investigation, Vocativ was interested in selling passports - stolen or falsified - on the online black market. By cross-checking the data and rates offered by thirteen sites, Vocativ has ranked the selling price of passports according to the country that issues them. Ordering procedure required some crypto currency and postal address.

According to Vocativ's calculations, a French passport, whether stolen or forged, would trade between 1,455 euros (at least) and 3,074 euros (at most) on the darknet. Rates that place this French identity document at the top of the ranking are attributed to its "power", since it allows its holders to visit 145 countries of the world without a visa or offers the possibility to buy a visa on the spot, once they have visited a given country.

Precious Danish passport

But the selling price of a passport does not only depend on its "power". Vocativ explains that the abundance or scarcity of stolen passports or the ease of falsifying and reproducing an official document can also have a significant impact on their value.

These technical and sometimes random factors produce surprising results. The Danish passport, which is only the fourth most "powerful" document in the world, thus appears as one of the most expensive to sell (between 1,660 and 3,540 euros). Conversely, the American passport, considered to be one of the most "powerful", sells at much lower prices (between 826 and 1,811 euros).