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Combatting Fake ID Usage on Campus

With the fast advancement of technology and the wide use of the internet, creating and obtaining fake IDs has become something rather easy to accomplish.

As a result, printing and editing a fake ID is no longer a difficult task as programs like PhotoShop are available for the everyday user so for those who want to make it past the doors using editing programs could be the way to go. If the students do not want to waste any time dealing with the editing and printing part there are even websites offering scannable fake ID cards, backed up by forums filled with fake ID reviews.

So we have mentioned a few methods of obtaining fake IDs, but why is an ID check required in the first place?

The main goal of checking IDs when a person purchases alcohol is to confirm that the age of the customer is in compliance with the law in force. This is quite a difficult task due to the increasing number of fake IDs on the market and their improved quality as some of them resemble the real IDs by copying security features from the real IDs to the point where those who are checking the IDs at the entrance can not tell the difference.

Before we discuss the way campuses should combat the use of fake IDs, first we need to take a look at a few of the consequences of underage drinking. When an underage begins using a fake ID in order to gain access to alcohol it does not only affect the person in cause, but also their families, the business and the community. There have been cases where fines were given to certain bars and other times to revocations of liquor licenses from stores as a result of selling alcohol to an underage person who was using a fake ID.

Now that the ways alcohol can cause damage have been covered it’s time to take a look into how campuses can combat fake ID usage.

First of all, all the liquor stores should check IDs (as part of their curriculum) and have qualified staff who are able tell apart between a badly made fake ID and a real one and these skills can be learned by simply completing a few courses which may be obtained via online sources.

They may take only a few hours to complete and while they do not cover everything when it comes to security features, they represent the first step in the long process of successfully combatting fake IDs.

Apart from these courses there are a few other resources like ID checking books. They are organized by the state and contain photos of IDs together with short descriptions of a few security features. Even though these are a reliable source when it comes to distinguishing fake IDs from the real ones the main issue is that they are not updated often enough and apart from this they do not contain information about all current versions of IDs. Unfortunately, this means that these books lack the details required that would enable gatekeepers to distinguish the fake ID from the real one.

The next line of defense is represented by scanners and because the society tries to automate as much as possible and use more high-tech products, scanners remain sometimes the only method used to check ID. By doing this we are not only replacing people in key positions with a machine, but we are also relying on a software to confirm age and identity which may sometimes prove to lack the accuracy needed.

To better understand why scanners are not 100% effective it’s important to understand the way they are working. Scanners come in two forms: machines and apps. Machines require both hardware and software while the apps are downloaded onto devices such as smartphones. The issue is that this method has its limitations based upon what can the apps or scanners really ‘read’ on IDs and whether they can actually check if the ID is fake or not.

To sum up, even though combatting fake ID usage on campus is a difficult task, there are a few steps we can take in order to discourage the usage of fake IDs by training the staff using online courses and government issues books and by using the latest technologies like apps or models of scanners which have been proven to be effective against fake IDs. Due to multiple layers of defense the chances of an underage to effectively purchase alcohol decrease, but an important rule is to always keep updated on the latest trends as this means to also check social media platforms where key information could be found.