ORONO, Maine — Fake identification cards are not uncommon in college towns but for some reason they are showing up in mass quantities this semester, Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing said Monday.
“We’re getting a ton of fake IDs,” he said.
Local store clerks, as well as restaurant and bar employees, are getting pretty good at identifying falsified identifications and are assisting police by turning people in, Ewing said.
For example, a store clerk called police Saturday night after a 19-year-old woman tried to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol, the police captain said.
“A clerk at Burby & Bates recognized it was a false ID” and called police, Ewing said. The woman left before police arrived but was found later because the fake ID listed her correct name.
Isabelle Barton, 19, of Orono was charged with possession of a falsified identification, Ewing said.
“A lot of the time, they’re using their real names and just change the date of birth,” Ewing said. “They change the year.”
Several of the fake identifications recently found in Orono are created online, he said.
“The IDs are really good. They look like a real ID, but they won’t go through the scanners” that many local bars and restaurants use to check whether a person is old enough to drink alcohol, Ewing said. He said they also lack a watermark hologram that reads “Maine” and is found on real IDs.
The hologram is visible when viewed at an angle or under an ultraviolet light.
“A lot of people we have charged are saying that [the website] is where they have gotten them,” Ewing said. “Every week we’re getting a couple, two or three.”