They are a criminal’s best friend and the organizations that create them are keeping up with the technology used to create the real ones—deepening the reasons for a national ID card—as this story from USA Today reports.
“Not even fake IDs are made in America any more.
“Overseas forgers from as far away as China are shipping fake driver’s license and other IDs to the United States that can bypass even the newest electronic digital security systems, according to document security experts.
“The new IDs are “an affront to the very sovereignty and dignity of the states that issue them,” says David Huff, a senior special agent in enforcement for Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, which has investigated some of the frauds.
“Most troubling to authorities is the sophistication of the forgeries: 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.
“Each of those manufacturing methods helps the IDs defeat security measures aimed at identifying forged documents.
“The overseas forgers are bold enough to sell their wares on websites, USA TODAY research finds. 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, name and send in a scanned photo and signature to complete their profile.
“ID Chief, whose website is based in China, responds personally to each buyer with a money-order request.
“Brian Zimmer, president of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, said the ease with which people can get fake documents is alarming. “If the ID buyers are terrorists, the list of protected targets they can now access is a Homeland Security nightmare,” he said.
“In August of 2011, federal prosecutors uncovered a counterfeit ring of Chinese foreign nationals in Albuquerque forging New Mexico IDs for illegal Chinese immigrants. They ran advertisements in Chinese-language newspapers in New York offering false identification for $1,500.”