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Fake IDs can seem attractive to some students heading back to college.  The short term desire to purchase alcoholic drinks for a weekend party prior to the legal age may be tempting.  However, there are very real risks associated with acquiring and using a fake ID;  not just in being caught by authorities using it, but also in having your identity stolen.

Fake IDs are typically used for illegal purposes which are often criminally punishable.  However, beyond the legality of using a fake ID for such purposes young adults seeking out a fake ID may be so focused on the desired outcome that they entirely miss the additional risks they are taking.  Today most fake IDs are obtained online by entering personal information into a website.  These sites are often overseas in order to get around local laws.  Information that is provided may include social security number, date of birth, address, etc.  Unfortunately, these are the exact same items that are needed by identity thieves to obtain duplicate social security cards or birth certificates which then helps them open credit cards, take out loans, get jobs, file taxes, withdraw from bank accounts, or withdraw from retirement accounts.  All of this is done in your name using all of the appropriate documentation and information.  For young college students who may not regularly monitor accounts and credit reports the damage can be major before anything amiss is noticed.

Your identity is extremely precious.  A serious breach like this can take hundreds of hours of time and possibly years trying to resolve and close all accounts.  Money may have been stolen from bank accounts.   In fact, there may never be a full recovery with continued diligence and monitoring required for many years.  Young adults need to be aware of these risks and remember that the temporary allure of a fake ID is not worth the long term financial risks.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a warning that can be found in an article linked below to help alert returning college students to the dangers of fake IDs and identity theft.

Original article.