Back when I was in college, fake IDs were made by the handful of kids on campus who happened to posses a computer, a laser printer, and a laminating machine. The results were passable — one would never fool a cop — but it was likely to get you into a bar or dance club with ease. Of course, this is what I heard from the kids in the halls. I never actually saw one myself. {ahem}

Anyhow, when I renewed my driver's license recently, I remember thinking about those old fake IDs and how they could never pass muster today. Between the holograms and the scanning codes, driver's licenses today can't be duplicated that easily.  

Or so I thought.  

Turns out, today's modern technology has made it difficult to duplicate identification documents, but that same technology has opened the door for those looking to purchase them — with ease. The average computer geek on the average college campus in the U.S. could not create a realistic fake ID. But why look down the hall when you can do your fake ID shopping on the World Wide Web?

One source in particular — known on college campuses around the country as simply, "The Chinese Guy" — has been flooding the U.S. market with high-quality fake IDs.  According to a recent story in The Washington Post, all you have to do is wire money to this guy and within a few days, you'll have an almost perfect fake ID — one that can pass the scrutiny of the naked eye as well as a simple scanner.  

"The Chinese Guy's" main customers, at least in the U.S., are underage drinkers. This is worrisome enough for parents. College students are not known for their restraint when it comes to drinking, nor for their judgment when drinking and driving.  

But stop to think about all of the other times you use your driver's license as a valid form of identification — to enter government buildings, get on an airplane, or even to pick up your children. Whether it's a kid trying to sneak into a bar or a pedophile trying to sneak out with a kid, a fake ID in the wrong hands can have disastrous results.  

Hopefully, law enforcement officials will close in on "The Chinese Guy" soon — but let's face it: when he closes up shop, another fake ID source will open.  You need to be proactive on your end to keep your kids safe.

Parents: if you're kids are headed off to college this fall, make sure you give them a heads-up about all of the dangers that come with possessing a fake ID. And hammer home the point that no matter where or how they get their hands on alcohol, they should drink it responsibly and never, ever drink while driving or get in the car with someone who does.

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