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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fake IDs and ID Scanners

Don't sell ID Scanners as Fake ID Checkers

It amazes me when I see new companies enter the ID Scanner market claiming their products stops fake IDs.  I saw a video from a new ID Scanner CEO where, in response to the question "can it validate or spoke a fake ID", he said - "yes, thats one of the great reasons bars should get it."

WOW - Talk about being uninformed - or worse - misrepresentation.  I'll assume he is just naive. 

Now let me explain a couple points about ID Scanners (including his).  It reads the barcode on the back and then extracts license data.  It does NOT go on-line to the DMV or any other system to verify any information.  So if I make a good copy of your drivers license and put my photo on the front of it, it will scan and display your name but the ID will have my picture.  This is true of most ID Scanners.  Only ID Scanners that go on-line to some central data base have a chance of catching a fake.  There are countless stories of high quality fake IDs coming from China.  And if you visit these fake ID web sites, they promise they will scan.  We've tested these Fake IDs and they are really good.  They have microprinting, UV ink, holograms, ghost printing and the data printed on the front of the ID matches the data encoded on the back.  So, the only way to catch these fakes is the run them through DMV database which is not gonna happen for free nor would it make economic sense for a system at a bar.

So, don't be fooled about Fake ID Scanners.  Yes, they will catch some fake IDs but their real purpose is the record the data to prove an ID was checked.  Here is the law for NY's Affirmative Defense legisaltion - which is what a bar owner would claim if somebody got served and the bar used an ID Scanner. 

One final point is 2/3rds of the IDs in the hands of minors are NOT fake.  They are borrowed IDs so if the 1" photo on the ID looks like the person using it, its almost impossible to stop.   So you don't buy an ID Scanner to detect Fake IDs, you buy it to be able to claim an Affirmative Defense when a minor gets served.


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