Each American identification card has a minimum of five security features in it. Each security feature has been added to stop the duplication of the ID card.
However, all efforts have gone in vain because fake id makers can duplicate any feature of the state-issued card using advanced technological devices. Phony ids are so real that people have even confused real ones with being fake and fake ones to be authentic.
Back in the day, getting a counterfeit id meant that you would have to meet a shady person in a deserted alley. Later it meant going on the dark web, but today you have to open the internet and do a google search.
The fake id business is vast; a producer can earn $1500 – $3000 on a weekly basis. In the United Kingdom, one ID is sold for 10 pounds; meanwhile, in America, an acceptable bogus identification is sold for $100. The difference in the cost is mainly due to the legal drinking age, which in Britain is 18 years and in the US 21 years.
Most of these ID cards are bought by university students who want access to alcohol and entrance in bars.
To buy an ID all you have to do is open up a website that offers fake id cards. The producer will take all your details and pictures. All the information exchange is done in an encoded space so that both parties can remain anonymous.
The buyer (you) then transfers the money in the form of Bitcoin. This mode is used because it is nearly impossible to track the receiver and the sender. Then the producer makes the id.
They need the following things to make an ID card, which has a hologram, a barcode that can be scanned, and a magnetic strip that has data that can be read by readers.
It is one of the first expenditures an ID card manufacturer makes. To make a good card, they use a high-end PVC ID card printer because all government agencies use these to make a real id. However, to ensure that the phony ID card has all features of a real ID card, they will need different printer types.
- Dual-sided card printers: These printers print on both sides of the card. They automatically flip the card once one side is done. As compared to the single-side printer, they allow manufacturers to print more information on the card.
- Laminating ID card printers: All state-issued ID cards are laminated. The purpose behind lamination is to protect against wear and tear as well as stop any attempt of tampering. A laminating photo-id printing machine is expensive; however, an essential expenditure.
- Holographic and UV ID card printer: Each state ID card has a different hologram image, only visible once UV light is shined on the card. The holographic printers can cost up to $2000.
2. PVC Cards
The ‘bend test’ is the first test that all cards go through to help the checker determine if the license is real or phony. Hence having the right card paper is as essential as anything. All US ID cards are made on HiCo & LoCo magnetic stripe cards. The standard size of these cards is 85.60mm and 53.98mm. This material can be easily purchased online.
3. Premium Holograms
Holograms are the most challenging security feature to copy. This is because each hologram on the id comes from a master hologram. Hence the hologram on the fake driver’s license has to be blended with precision.
There are two types of holograms: the double-layered ones and the three-layered ones. Each state id hologram has a unique multi-level and multi-color effect hologram on it. The hologram image has two flat graphics levels that float above or at the surface of the card. Holograms are only visible once the card is moved into and fro position.
A new sophisticated kind of hologram which is named “Kinegram” comes with licenses such as Massachusetts ID. A two-dimensional metalized hologram that changes colors (Optically Variable Color) surfaced first in 2012 with the emergence of Massachusetts real ID. It is nearly impossible to fake.
4. Font or Typeface
This feature has helped the bouncers and cops catch bogus licenses. A perfect replica does not mean that it has the hologram, the magnetic stripe, and UV image. Copying the font type is also vital. Most state – id issuers use ‘Avenir Font.’ It is essential to look at the minutest details because you don’t need a copy; you need a replica.
5. Magnetic Bar Encoder
When the fake card passes all tests, it is put through a magnetic stripe card reader. The magnetic stripe on the card comprises magnetic particles that are enclosed in a tape. When all the magnetic particles are aligned, they will show the encoded information on the strip.
Hence the manufacturer will need an encoder to encode the data written on the card onto the magnetic stripe. This will make the fake ID card scannable.
6. Overlaminate Layering
This layer is put on ID cards to protect it from wear and tear. However, it also acts as a security feature because it prevents tampering with the card. No one can tamper with an over laminated card without destroying it in the process.
Using all this equipment, a precise identification card will be made and sent to the buyer. The cards are then put in parcels containing clothes or books and delivered to the buyer’s door.
When someone decides to buy a novelty id, they put in an incredible amount of trust in the seller. To ensure that they won’t get scammed, the buyers review sellers on social platforms like Instagram, Reddit, and Quora.
There are communities where a buyer can get full information on how to get a fraudulent id card and from whom they should buy it. Sellers even advertise using the reviews and recommendations given on these social platforms. They also encourage customers to check their site reviews if they’re unsure because their ‘uncatchable fake id card‘ record speaks for itself.
According to US officials, most of the Counterfeit ID cards in America are supplied from Chain. Recently more than 20,000 fake US driver’s licenses were caught at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Most of the ids were coming through overseas shipments from China. US officials have often written to the Chinese ambassador to close down such firms. But the letter seems to have no effect.
The business is flourishing each passing day due to technology. All attempts by the government to crack down on this phenomenon have gone down the drain.
The advantage to novelty id makers have is that they have to invest only once. After that, it only costs them the material to make as many copies as they want. The cards are made of a fraction of the selling price.
With things needed to make IDs available so smoothly because of technology. The battle between authorities and counterfeit card makers seems will be endless.