DARIEN, Conn. – Darien police officers have come across a number of young people in possession of fake IDs that they obtained online and are warning of the many consequences of using them.
One such incident occurred the night of Sunday, July 19, when police responded to an underage party on Crimmins Road. While at the scene, officers encountered with two fake IDs that a young woman said she got from a website.
Police are warning that fake IDs are not as harmless as they seem.
“Young people and their parents need to realize that obtaining fraudulent identification is a serious crime with potential criminal consequences. Although their teenager may only be using a fake ID to buy alcohol or get into a bar, driver’s licenses are official government-issued documents,” said Detective Sgt. Jeremiah Marron.
“Underage drinking and underage purchasing of alcohol is a very real concern for our community. Additionally, a concern for law enforcement across the nation is when individuals use these types of fraudulent documents to enter the country illegally or even worse, commit acts of terrorism.”
Police said the websites typically require purchasers to send their name, photo, signature and payment. The manufacturer of the ID will then generate a fake address, which is usually taken from MLS listings of houses for sale. Manufacturers produce high-quality reproductions of licenses that include watermarks, which make them nearly indistinguishable from real IDs.
The counterfeit licenses cost $100 to $200 and usually need to be purchased using pre-paid credit cards, reload cards, wire transfers or Bitcoins, police said.
Police are reminding residents that anyone who simply has a fake ID in their wallet is in violation of second-degree forgery in Connecticut. This is a Class D felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in jail, a $5,000 fine and probation.
Marron said that sending private and identifying information over the Internet can also expose you to identity theft.
“The moral of the story here is that fake IDs aren’t as casual as our young people and their friends play them off to be. They come with big risks and even bigger legal consequences if they’re caught," he said.
"While it’s unlikely that this crime will result in a prison sentence, especially as a first offense, a future employer could see a potential employee as someone who has honesty issues.”
Police said that underage drinking is a factor in a variety of serious problems, including alcohol poisoning, violent and property crime, traumatic injury, drowning, suicide, high-risk sex and the need for treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence.
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