Fake IDs, Identifying the problem

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SFS: Identifying the problem (KFSN)

Many people think fake identifications involve underage kids trying to buy alcohol. But some identifications that pose a much more serious problem.

It started with a routine traffic stop and ended with a trooper busting a multi-million dollar fake ID ring. "The trooper had seen fake ID's before, but was impressed with the quality of these IDs," said David Cunningham, US Postal Inspector.

After being questioned, the minors admitted they had bought the IDs to purchase alcohol and told the trooper how they got them. Inspectors say the minors had sent thousands of dollars, along with personal information to get these fake IDs.

"The purchasers of the IDs use their official university email address. At that point you are now sharing your university email address, along with your mailing address and your name and other information to now an illegal business," said Cunningham.

In addition to the issue of underage drinking, the high quality IDs posed an even more serious problem. "It really presented a national security issue. Because the way the business was set up one customer could purchase fraudulent IDs for any other number of customers as well," said Cunningham.

Postal inspectors have some advice for young people -- don't give out your personal information to anyone and think twice before making a mistake that will follow you for the rest of your life. "Don't do something now for a temporary pleasure that you're going to greatly regret later. In some states, possessing and using and presenting a fraudulent identification is a felony and that can ruin your career from the very beginning," said Cunningham.

The two masterminds behind this scheme made more than 20-thousand fake IDs and are serving between 4 and 5 years behind bars.
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