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Fake IDs

How to Spot a Fake ID

How to Spot a Fake ID
by SK Creations, Inc. July 15th, 2008. All rights reserved. Not for re-distribution without express written consent.

Identifying a fake ID can be a difficult process, but there are several key points to consider that can make the task easier.

Body Features
Compare the picture to the person in front of you. Look first to see if the eye color and heights match up. This will weed out a lot of fake IDs by itself. Then compare cheekbones, the forehead, nose, ears, and weight. Some peoples' body compositions change, but inconsistencies can be a telling sign.

Looking at the ID card itself is another great way to identify a fake ID. Look to see if there are raised edges around the photo indicating a picture was added on top of the original. Also look for fuzzy numbers and words that might indicate low quality printer ink. Any misspelling on the document should instantly make it very suspicious since most government organizations are very careful to spell everything correctly. Does the photo have red eye? Do the holograms flake off if you scratch them? Are there bubbles under the lamination? Swipe the magnetic strip if the card has one. Does the information on it not read properly? All four of these things can indicate a poorly made fake identification document.

Determine if the person looks nervous. Is he fidgeting with his hands, shifting his weight a lot, or will he not look you in the eye? These can be signs that the person is worried that you will discover his fake ID.

Expiration and Issuance Dates
Check the expiration date. If the license is expired, then it is not a legal form of ID. For all you know, it could have been thrown out by the original owner when he got a new one, and someone just picked it out of the trash or got it from his older brother. If the issuance date is 3 years old, does it look like the card has 3 years of wear on it? That is another thing to look out for since many "fresh" fake IDs look brand new.

Always keep an up to date book of drivers licenses for all 50 states. This way you can know what an Oregon drivers license is supposed to look like, even though you have never been there. Some states' licenses are easier to copier than others; New Jersey's drivers license is one of the most popular to copy due to its weaker security features.

Ask the person what his horoscope sign is. Most people should know that they are Scorpios or Leos in a flash. If the person stumbles, it may be a borrowed ID. Ask to see a 2nd or 3rd form of ID. Most people will carry student ID cards or credit cards that should back up the name on the license they are presenting. Finally, ask for a signature, and then compare it to the signature on the license. Handwriting styles do change sometimes, but this can be an indicator that the license is suspicious.

These are just some tips you can use to help recognize fake IDs. Fraudsters are getting more complex and using better technology as it becomes readily available, so you need to stay up to date yourself to combat fake IDs. When in doubt, take the ID and hold it until law enforcement officers arrive to verify the authenticity themselves.