How to Spot a Fake ID: A Detailed Guide

how to spot a fake id guide

Sales of beer and spirits generated around $35 billion in revenue in 2019 alone. Although bars and breweries depend on alcohol sales the most, full-service restaurants can also earn up to 25% of their revenue from liquor sales.

Getting a liquor license is essential to entering the lucrative liquor sales industry. However, serving minors and failing to check for fake IDs pose the largest threats to business owner’s liquor licenses.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to spot a fake ID. Fraudulent ID documents have gotten more sophisticated, and as a result, without an ID scanner, it’s become very difficult to know fake from real.

Need a few tips? Here are some of the best ways to spot a fake ID in your business.

Common Types of Fake IDs

Borrowed IDs, produced IDs, and forged IDs are the three types of fake IDs that are most frequently used. You can verify a driver’s license more easily if you are aware of the many types.

1. Borrowed IDs

Most instances of ID fraud involve borrowed IDs. In fact, these cases make up about 95% of all fake ID cases. Younger siblings, friends, and strangers in their personal networks lend minors their IDs.

How to Spot a Borrowed ID

Compare the person in front of you to the ID’s physical description. Also, ensure the license is still in effect or has not expired.

If you have any doubts about whether the license truly belongs to the individual presenting it, search for your state’s duplicate stamp to verify if it is a duplicate. Even though a copied license does not imply a borrowed license automatically, it is nevertheless cause for concern.

Many times, expired IDs will be shared with minors, after a new ID has been issued. Unfortunately, expired IDs scan and in some states, it’s illegal to use an expired ID to buy alcohol. Be aware of these laws in your state, as expired IDs are commonly shared.

2. Forged Fake IDs

Any identification used to construct a fraudulent identity is a forged ID. There are two types of falsified IDs: front-only and front-and-back. Front-faked IDs have legitimate-looking fronts, but their barcodes can’t be read or don’t display encoded data when scanned.

Typically, front fake IDs include the owner’s picture and any stolen personal information. Fake IDs also progress along with technology. In addition to seeming authentic on the front, more than 60% of fake IDs also feature barcodes that are encoded with the same data.

How to Spot a Forged ID

Basic ID scanners can determine whether a card’s barcode can be scanned and whether it contains information. This procedure, known as ID parsing, is the quickest way to spot a front-forged ID. IDs should typically have rounded edges all the way around. The ID may have a fake front if it has square edges or feels rough to the touch.

For front- and back-forged IDs, check the ID’s barcode information through an established ID database.

3. Altered Fake IDs

An altered fake ID is typically a legitimate ID of the person presenting it, but with certain information changed. To enter bars and buy alcohol, minors will change the DOB on their IDs. You can run a successful bar by spotting forged identification at the door.

How to Spot Altered IDs

Forging an ID also changes its security characteristics. Examine the particular color printing, surface texture, and state-specific security elements of the ID for any alterations.

Looking for more tips? See our guide to age verification processes for businesses.

Spotting Fake IDs with State Security Features

To train workers on how to recognize fake IDs, familiarize them with your state’s ID security features. Here are the main warning signs to watch out for:

  • Holograms: When held up to the light, holographic images on IDs become visible. Knowing the image of your state will help you recognize bogus IDs.
  • Cheap Laminate: To seal the UV graphics and protect the IDs, states use a professional laminate. Gently bend the ID card into the shape of a “U” to check if it has professional-grade lamination. Bubbles will appear when cheap, unprofessional laminate is bent.
  • Laser Perforation: IDs have tiny laser-perforated holes that generate images that, unless held up to bright light, are invisible to the naked eye. Each state has its own laser-perforated graphics.
  • Laser Embossing: Many states use a laser to emboss their IDs, raising the plastic on the front. Although the laser embossing doesn’t change the back of the ID, you can feel the ID and check to see if the embossing is there and complies with regulations.
  • UV Imagery: While each state has its own UV imagery for IDs, most states have a second, lighter image that only emerges when exposed to UV light.

Typically, barcodes on fake IDs scan. However, advanced ID scanners can help to prevent false-positive scans.

More Tips for Catching Fake IDs

Alcoholic beverages should never be served to minors because doing so is against the law. There are general false identification techniques your firm can use, in addition to learning how to spot the three most prevalent fake ID forms and the ID security features in your state.

Your business can benefit from fake ID detecting equipment, and your personnel should be trained to question ID holders.

We also teach you what aspects to watch out for when selecting fake ID detecting equipment. We present a list of questions that pull out an ID holder and assist you in determining whether their ID is false.

Questions to Ask

Ask the ID holder questions if you think that their identification is false. You most likely have a phony ID in your possession if they appear uncertain or tense. In order to determine whether the cardholder’s ID is fraudulent, you can ask them the following questions:

  • Enquire as to what their ID’s middle initial stands for.
  • Request confirmation of the details on their ID card that pertain to them personally.
  • Request that they write their signature, then contrast it with the one on their ID.
  • Bonus: Mispronounce their first name or give the incorrect middle initial to see if they correct you.

Warning Signs from Cardholders

Watch out for these warning signs while you question the cardholder:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Hesitant reactions
  • Nervous body language
  • Defensive responses
  • Roaming upwards of the eyes (a symptom that someone is having trouble remembering information)

A Fool-Proof Plan: Purchase a Fake ID Scanner

Investing in false ID detection technology is a proactive strategy for your bar or restaurant as fake IDs become more sophisticated and challenging to detect. Your workers can detect ID fraud with the aid of fake ID detector equipment and software.

These are the key characteristics you should look for in a fake ID detector as you compare options:

  • Verifies ID barcodes with a reliable ID database.
  • Examines pixel accuracy.
  • Examines the security aspects of the ID using both white and infrared light.
  • Makes use of an extensive ID database that includes identification cards from several states because many people who use false IDs will do so on purpose and utilize cards that your team is less familiar with.
  • Has a magnetic stripe reader that compares the data on the ID to databases maintained by government departments.

This process is complicated for websites and ecommerce businesses. Verifying IDs for a website requires a solid platform like FTx Identity. However, there’s a strong ROI for investing in an identity verification platform.

  • fake ID detecting equipment
  • Fake ID Scanner
  • How to spot a fake ID
  • ID detection technology
  • ID detector equipment and software