How about a driver’s license including your girlfriend
SARATOGA SPRINGS — It seemed like a harmless way to score some beer. But prosecutors say city teens who handed over their names, birth dates, pictures and signatures to a China-based company in exchange for sophisticated fake IDs are in for a lifetime of debt.
City police announced Tuesday the arrests of 14 teenagers, most of them Saratoga Springs High School students, who purchased phony IDs through the now-defunct website ID Chief.
Along with a money order for $75, police said, the teens wired personal information overseas to people in the business of stealing identities. In return, the kids got a driver’s license that officials say can fool border patrol and airport security, let alone Caroline Street bouncers.
ID Chief got a cache of personal info they immediately auctioned off to the highest bidder.
“As these kids get older and try to get jobs, try to be stockbrokers, or get a mortgage, or credit cards, they will find in 90 percent of the cases that they have thousands in credit card debt, that they will have several mortgages they have yet to pay, holds on their licenses to states they’ve never been to, Interpol holds, because they gave their information to a foreign Web-based company,” Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said. “All just to get a beer on Caroline Street…”
Catone said none of the students had any idea of the potentially devastating long-term ramifications of their purchases.
“They’re teenagers,” he said. “Mortgages and loans 10, 20 years from now are not what they’re thinking about.”
ID Chief was an international operation. The orders were placed through an address in China, and the money was wired to Indonesia. The IDs themselves were crafted in England.
There is no patch for stupid.