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Fake passports, drivers licenses and police badges a click away
New York, NY, September 16 - The manufacturing of fake credentials has been an issue for years; however, after a two-year investigation, Kessler International has determined that items such as passports, driver's licenses and police badges are more attainable than ever. These items are manufactured and sold by counterfeiting operations around the globe, and with the constant expansion of the Internet, new generations of cyber criminals are thriving on the online sales of forged identification.
While the technology used to create a legitimate passport might seem foolproof, criminals find ways to mimic the same formatting techniques and technology. Kessler found that all security features such as special paper, watermarks, security threads, intaglio printing, microprinting, fluorescent dyes, color-changing ink, and document numbers that were laser perforated were used by the counterfeiters. Travel stamps were also available to give the passport a used look. Kessler has found that a fake passport can cost anywhere between a few hundred to thousands of dollars based upon the country of issue, and any requested Visas cost extra. Through its investigation, Kessler has found that a fake passport from Australia costs about $800, while a fake passport from Germany costs over $6,000, and all of them are readily available on the Internet.
"This upswing of falsified passports could potentially allow individuals unauthorized travel, completely bypassing their legal capacity to do so," said Kessler International Vice President Susan Peterson. "Many of these counterfeiting operations seek underground Internet servers, and employ software that blocks IP addresses, locations and identities. This makes it more difficult for law enforcement to detect and shut down these counterfeiting mills."
Additional forms of identification are also conveniently available for online purchase. Counterfeit driver's licenses are significantly cheaper than passports. Kessler discovered that driver's licenses only cost a few hundred dollars and can be found on dozens of websites. Kessler's investigation revealed that identification from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the USA and others are also available for purchase online, in addition to Social Security cards and Green Cards.
In addition to international and domestic forms of identification, Kessler uncovered that law enforcement badges are readily available for online purchase. Several websites were found to feature an expansive collection of law enforcement ID, at prices from $100.00. Police, fire department and federal agent badges were all found to be available and were seen exhibiting realistic traits and finishes. Photo ID cards to match the badges were also available on websites. These items are mostly referred to as "replicas."
"The selling of illegitimate police equipment poses a huge threat if purchased by the wrong people," said Susan Peterson. "These false badges can be used to gain access to locations requiring authorization and can be used for nefarious purposes."
Overall, Kessler found that the simplicity of acquiring counterfeit identification is what proves to be most alarming. In today's age of computers, tablets and smartphones, these items are readily accessible for anyone to get their hands on. Susan Peterson states, "In a world riddled with terror and fear, this is the last thing society needs."
About Kessler International
Kessler provides forensic accounting, digital forensics, brand protection and investigative services worldwide from its offices in New York City, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Honolulu, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and London, and affiliates throughout the world. Established in 1988, Kessler's satisfied clients include an extensive and distinguished list of Fortune 500 companies, prestigious law firms, government agencies and individuals worldwide.
For information about this investigation contact Susan Peterson at 212-286-9100 or visit Kessler International's website at http://www.investigation.com.