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Notary Bulletin

Senators Want China To Take Action Against Fake ID Companies

NotaryBulletinIcon612.jpgU.S. Senators are calling on the People’s Republic of China to crack down on Chinese companies selling fake IDs through the Internet.

False IDs are used to commit a wide variety of crimes, including identity theft and document fraud, and they are sometimes used by scammers attempting to pose as someone else during a notarization. In a letter to China’s ambassador to the United States, Senators Mark Kirk and Richard Durbin of Illinois, along with Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin of Iowa asked the Chinese government to put an end to businesses selling fake U.S. driver’s licenses and government documents. The senators alleged that Chinese companies are selling fake IDs online and then shipping them to U.S. customers hidden inside other packages such as puzzles or clothing.

“Much of our daily life depends on the validity of these documents and they serve an important purpose in authenticating a person’s identity,” the senators wrote. “Unfortunately, some companies allow an individual the opportunity to electronically insert a digital photo and false biographic information into any state identification document template. For a few hundred American dollars, whole identities can be falsely created for the purpose of receiving a state identification document.”

Notaries should always be alert for signs that an ID is fake or has been tampered with, including inconsistencies between the signer’s age or appearance and the information on the ID, peeling or unusually thick laminate on the card or missing holograms or other security features.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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