Lots of students in Athens probably use their sister's friend's cousin's expired ID to try to buy alcohol or gain admittance to bars. They should not, but they do because it can help them drink and still avoid minor in possession charges.
It may be a surprise to learn, then, that the trafficking of fake identification can actually be pretty big business and can entail very sophisticated approaches and equipment. That description characterizes an apparent fake ID network recently discovered by Athens-Clarke police.
The issue came to light when a freshman at the University of Georgia told her resident advisor that she believed her roommate was selling fake identification cards. She said she did not want to get in trouble if her roommate was eventually caught.
The RA told police and the more police looked into it, the bigger the ring seemed to get. It now seems that the freshman would take pictures and identifying information from customers and would then pass it on to two other people, a UGA student and a student at the University of Gainesville, who would then make identifications cards that made the customers look like they were 21 or over.
Authorities searched the cell phone of the UGA student who made the fake identification cards and found the names of 17 students in Gainesville and Athens who were looking to buy fake identification cards.
The students who made the IDs used holograms, magnetic strips and special printers to make their identification cards look authentic.
The students who were believed to have fake identification cards were allowed to surrender the cards in exchange for not facing charges and more than 300 students did so. The freshman whose roommate complained about her has been charged with felony possession and distribution of fake identifications. An Athens police officer said he suspects there will be a "multitude of arrests" to come in the future.
Source: The Athens Red and Black, "University police uncover fake ID network," Wil Petty, Jan. 8, 2012