20,000 Fake Drivers Licenses From China Seized In Chicago

20,000 Fake Drivers Licenses From China Seized In Chicago

Fake Drivers Licenses
Officials have seized nearly 20,000 fake drivers licenses shipped to the U.S. from China at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. This photo shows the front of a fake Michigan driver’s license seized in a shipment at Chicago O’Hare Airport. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Selling fake American drivers licenses seems to be big business in China. Since the beginning of the year through June, officials have seized nearly 20,000 counterfeit licenses shipped to the U.S. from China at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, according to Fox 5 NY.

“These counterfeit driver’s licenses can lead to disastrous consequences,” Ralph Piccirilli, acting port director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the area, said in a statement. “Criminal organizations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities.”

The bulk of the 19,888 counterfeit licenses came in from Hong King and mainland China, the report stated. Officials said most were for college-age students and the barcode for Michigan licenses worked, they found.

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“These fraudulent identity documents can lead to identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking,” CBP said in a news release, adding that, “these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize scrutiny from travel screening measures.”

There was also a surge in fraudulent documents in the Dallas area which came through their airport. The port director there, Timothy Lemaux, said young people need to be more cautious about sharing their personal info with people abroad.

“What is most disconcerting about these interceptions, besides the volume in which we are experiencing, is the ease in which so many young people freely share their personal information with counterfeiters abroad,” Lemaux said in a statement. “We’ll continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to educate the public, and anyone who is contemplating purchasing a counterfeit ID online, on the potential dangers of sharing your personal, identifiable information with a criminal element.”