If you want a Puerto Rican identity, it’s about $6000 for a “tripleta,” which can be used to hide illegal immigrants. Other forms of identification vary in price. A United States passport can range from $950 to $1650 to as much as$5500.
In the U.S., we have as many as 200 different forms of identification circulating, including passports from state to state, plus another 14,000 birth certificates and 49 versions of the Social Security card. These are paper and plastic documents that can be recreated with a PC, scanner, printer, and laminator.
McAfee Avert Labs researcher Francois Paget found and posted an ad showing U.S. identities for $650 each. It’s not incredibly difficult to buy fake IDs online, but will they pass muster with technologies that look for tampering? Unfortunately, many will.
An order form asks all the right questions:
“By placing your order, you must have read and agreed to our Terms of Service.
The order procedure is the following:
1. You send us all the necessary information (depending on the document you want to order). We receive and process your order and give you payment information.
2. You pay 50% upfront money for document(s) producing.
3. We start to produce your document(s). Time constraints are 2-7 days (depending on your order).
4. We send you scan/photos of your ready-made document(s). You check all the details and give us confirmation.
5. You send us the second half of amount and your delivery address. You will receive your document(s) in several days via UPS, FedEx, TNT Express, DHL or EMS (free of charge for you).”
Here in the U.S., we use numerical identifiers that have no physical connection to ourselves. Some documents contain pictures that may not look like us, especially if eye glasses, beards, hair coloring, hair growth, hair removal, or weight fluctuations are involved. Some identification documents don’t include a photo at all. This is not effective authentication. Worldwide, the system isn’t much more secure.
All this makes it easier to steal your identity. Once the bad guy has a few bits of information, he can easily become you.
To ensure peace of mind, subscribe to an identity theft protection service, such as McAfee Identity Protection, which offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet protection, and alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your accounts. For additional tips, please visithttp://www.counteridentitytheft.com.
Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss Social Security numbers as national identification on Fox News.(Disclosures)