Wednesday, May 3, 2017

There Is a Fake IDGod, and He Lives in China

Andy’s* first fake ID arrived from China a few weeks into his freshman year of college.

He and a friend, both 18, decided they had better get IDs to buy beer, so they placed an order with IDGod, the biggest online fake ID vendor in the world. IDGod is both the name of the vendor and a real person, Andy explains; he first heard the name as a sophomore in high school from seniors who were getting their own IDs. “He’s a god, basically. A group of Chinese men — they may be gangsters or involved in organized crime, no one really knows for sure — formed IDChief, a huge fake ID operation that sold to teens in the U.S.,” he continues. “As they got bigger, tension grew on the inside, and they separated into different ‘companies,’ one of which became IDGod, which proved to be the most successful.”

Now a 19-year-old college sophomore in the Midwest, Andy has accumulated at least 20 more fake IDs. His reasoning is obvious (and timeless): Generation after generation, a fake ID has been a teenager’s golden ticket to a previously inaccessible realm of grown-up vices (booze, bars and casinos), making them both a Hollywood teen movie trope and a must-have for the not-quite-20-something.

You might think Andy doesn’t need two dozen fake IDs, but how else can he keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation? “There are things people do to make sure they have the best product on the market, which is why people like me have so many IDs.” He showed me a couple photos of his latest — a fake Utah license considered to be one of the best currently on the market. (It certainly looked legit to me.) The key, he says, is replicating the unique perforations and microprint that are present on most real IDs under an ultraviolet light.

He suggests holding my California ID up to the light and looking for a small bear, one of the Golden State’s perforations. These are the security features a discerning fake ID customer looks for when shopping for vendors, since they’re the first things seasoned bouncers and liquor store owners look for when trying to spot a fake, and they’re nearly impossible to replicate without sophisticated machinery.

The biggest goal, however, is beating a fake ID owner’s worst nightmare: The box scanner. The small box shows all the ID’s information on a screen that a bouncer, store owner or casino worker can easily look at to spot a fake. Box scanners scan the entire front and back of an ID and compare it to a real one. And as there are no perfect fake IDs, there’s no way to pass the scanner’s test. Thankfully, Andy says, they aren’t that common; they are mostly in our country’s preeminent college town, Boston.

For Andy, though, the best part of his fake IDs, which he’d like to collect from all 50 states, is that he uses them for far more than just buying booze. They’re a way to enrich your life, he says. If a museum in Chicago is offering half-price admission for state residents, he’ll whip out his fake Illinois ID. If the Bronx Zoo is running a similar promotion, he’s got a New York one.

by C. Brian Smith, MEL |  Read more:
Image: uncredited