The Illinois secretary of state’s office is concerned about fake IDs, and not just because they can get underage kids into bars. That’s one concern, but another is that when kids order fake IDs from China, they set up the possibility for identity theft, says inspector general James B. Burns. “They can go to China on the internet and get fairly good quality IDs and driver’s licenses, and they don’t think through the consequences,” he said Wednesday at a news conference in Chicago.
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Secretary of State Police Investigator Tyler DuMontelle says the quality of those IDs is not up to the standards of the secretary of state’s office. “They look good on the surface, but with just a few minutes, literally just a few minutes of training, they can be easily spotted by somebody in the field, and it takes a minimum amount of time,” he said. The biggest deficiency is the construction of the ID card itself. The fakes will crease and start to peel apart if they are bent, whereas the proper ID cards can be bent multiple times and will not break or crease. The hologram that’s on the legitimate cards is also not properly reproduced in the fakes. DuMontelle travels the state to train bartenders, bouncers and local cops how to spot the fakes.
The fakes from China sell for about $150. The secretary of state’s office is asking college radio stations to run a public service announcement warning students of the consequences of getting caught with a fake ID, and of turning over their personal information to a stranger in China to get one. Those caught possessing or using a fake ID can have their real driver’s license suspended for a year. It’s also on the books that they could be fined up to $25,000, tossed in jail for three years, and get 50 hours of community service.