You Probably Shouldn't Trust Document Forgers With Your Personal Information

Sophisticated new ID-authentication systems mean that determined teens need sophisticated new fake IDs in order to get into clubs and buy booze. Enter ID Chief, a now-defunct site based in China. Provided with your photo, name, and Social Security number, ID Chief could provide you with a license from any state you choose, good enough to fool the scanners at even the finest liquor stores. The price? A money order for $75. Oh, and they sell your personal information to the highest bidder.

Fourteen upstate New York high school and college students (and one helpful parent who allegedly provided a money order) have been arrested for allegedly obtaining stunningly realistic fake IDs from this service. Police say that they were caught using an incredibly low-tech method: another customer in line recognized a high school student who successfully purchased liquor with a fake Pennsylvania driver’s license.

The students have been charged with possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor, and have also been sentenced to decades of scrupulously keeping an eye out for signs of identity theft on their credit reports.

To put it in scarier terms, cue the Saratoga County district attorney. He told reporters:

As these kids get older and try to get jobs, try to be stockbrokers, or get a mortgage, or credit cards, they will find in 90 percent of the cases that they have thousands in credit card debt, that they will have several mortgages they have yet to pay, holds on their licenses to states they’ve never been to, Interpol holds, because they gave their information to a foreign Web-based company.

Booze is pretty great, but not even the schmanciest wines are worth that much trouble.

Teenagers could pay a high price for a beer [Albany Times Union]