The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) department recently announced that its officers in Cincinnati had seized 14,504 fake identification items. More than 97 percent of the fake IDs came from China and Hong Kong.
The fraudulent ID items included passports, social security cards, licenses, visas, laminates, and holographic stickers. The seized shipments had addresses spread throughout the United States. Stickers and laminates were kept together with blank cards, indicating that they were to be used to manufacture fake IDs and credit cards. They would then be sold on the black market.
“Fake IDs are used to facilitate underage drinking, which is dangerous in and of itself… The story can get even darker, however. Fake documents are associated with identity theft, public benefit fraud, and human trafficking, and terrorists use them to evade travel screening measures. Our officers and specialists are trained to recognize fake identification documents and they are dedicated to protecting innocent civilians,” Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie said in a statement.
Fake IDs from communist China have been posing a serious security problem in the U.S. for a while. Last year, Ralph Piccirilli, CBP’s acting area port director in Chicago, warned that most of the counterfeit IDs, such as driver’s licenses, often have disastrous consequences since they are used for illegal activities.
A shipment caught in 2019 was marked with an address that belonged to a convicted child rapist. Investigators believe that the criminal used fake IDs to attract minors. Dallas-Fort Worth CBP Port Director Timothy Lemaux raised concerns that many teenagers were freely giving personal info to counterfeiters just to get their hands on fake IDs.
After the CCP virus pandemic broke out, a new fraudulent item began circulating in the U.S.: “Face Mask Exempt” cards that displayed the seal of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In June, the DOJ made a public announcement saying that they have never issued such cards. These face mask exempt cards stated that the people holding the cards do not have to wear face masks due to a disability.
It was discovered that the cards were being distributed by a Facebook group. It shows how easily people are fooled by invalid ID cards. In the digital space, it can be even more deceptive.
Last October, CEO of FaceTec Kevin Alan Tussy said that there is a rising case of “dangerous digital identity threat.” His warning came after the CBP announced that it had seized 20,000 fake IDs in the first half of 2020 from just a single port.
“When we see dozens of fake IDs in the same shipment, it’s not just some underage college kid. These IDs are being ordered by organized crime, and the fraud these fake IDs create have the potential to completely undermine the eKYC industry and set digital identity back many years. What we really need are government identity issuers to become digital verifiers so fake IDs can’t be used and synthetic identities can’t be created,” he told Find Biometrics.
Tussy warned that if the U.S. administration does not urgently resolve the fake ID crisis, the nation will soon face the same plight as countries like South Africa. There, for example, it’s speculated that there are two times as many personal ID cards as people. He said that the creation of so many false identities is disrupting the entire identity verification system due to massive identity fraud.