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Fake IDs becoming more realistic

Lawton_Gone are crude, cut-and-paste fake IDs, common just a few years ago, and so obviously bogus.  They have now been replaced with replicas with detail and accuracy that often astonish authorities.  Teens who want to skirt the legal drinking age of 21 now can visit websites that offer templates, or "kits," to make authentic-looking IDs.  Police say they are making sure their officers are well trained in identifying a fake ID. 

Using a template, all an individual needs to do to create a fake license is a computer scan of their snapshot, a color printer, and a laminator.  To an untrained eye, it can appear to be the real deal.  Alcohol, cigarettes, and partying, are the top three reasons teens and young adults are forging IDs, and convenience store clerk Kevin Hart is making sure they get as little use out of them as possible.  "I had one kid come in, he colored in the first little number with a blue pin trying to pass off as 21," said Hart.  "I had to take three looks at it to make sure he wasn't 21, because he looked real young."

Conveniences store clerks aren't the only ones spotting the fakes.  Lawton Police Detective Rick McCollister says they're even teaching club bouncers how to spot the knock-offs in poor lighting.  "By just simply turning it on an angle, we can see certain features," said McCollister.  "If those [features] aren't there, then obviously it becomes extremely suspicious." 

Those who want fake IDs know how to spot bogus IDs, too.  They're visiting websites that show them how to get close to the real deal with the click of a mouse.  "Anything to do with computer enhanced imagery you have to stay up to date, you have to stay out in front, and will have to do that," said McCollister.  Law enforcement says that they can combat fake IDs by educating those who must check IDs on a regular basis.  "IDs have two little markings - one for under 21 and one for 18," he said.  "If it's under 18 it will have that yellow sign until the day of their birthday, and then they can get it removed."

McCollister says changes will be printed on IDs similar to watermarks on currency.  Colors, prints, and watermarks will vary as more individuals find ways to replicate IDs.  Law enforcement says that typically, those who are forging IDs aren't trying to maliciously hurt anyone, they're just looking for a good time.  Unfortunately, forging an ID can result in serving hard time and/or paying hefty fines for altering a federal document.

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