How to Spot a Fake ID and Credit Card
When we think of fake ID and credit card usage, our minds often turn to images of 19-year-old college students sneaking into bars with photo ID and fraudulent birth dates to purchase drinks at discount. But this issue is much broader – leading to lost tax revenue, an influx of undocumented immigrants, and threats against national or international security.
Document mills–operations that produce identification documents like IDs, driver’s licenses and social security cards–are known as document mills; they range in sophistication from being one person with a laptop all the way through to massive enterprises with millions of dollars in revenue. A number of document mills have been busted in recent years; most recently in 2010 when federal agents raided an operation that produced 15,000 fraudulent green cards based on people’s names, photos, addresses and social security numbers for people living within the US.
To spot a fake, take note of the numbering on the back of the card – check to ensure all numbers are evenly spaced and aligned – as well as raised edges, glue lines or uneven surfaces around its photo and birth date that could indicate tampering.
Possession or display of a fake ID is illegal under Penal Code 470b PC and could constitute either a misdemeanor or felony charge, but if it was made without knowledge that the ID was counterfeit and wasn’t intended to violate law or public order then conviction might be avoided.