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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Fake ID cards 'openly available'
ID card
Companies are offering fake employee cards for sale
Fake identification and qualifications are openly for sale on the internet, allowing a person to become "virtually anybody", a study has revealed.

Bogus proof of age, student, national ID and employee cards are all on offer from UK companies, the report says.

The findings came from an investigation by trading standards officers in North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Prices ranged from 25 for a proof of age card to 240 for a set of false exam certificates.

With these cards and qualification papers, a person could be virtually anybody
Ruth Taylor, Trading Standards
Trading standards officials compiled the report after the 14-year-old son of one officer successfully applied for a host of false documents.

They are now considering legal action against the firm providing the false degree and GCSEs.

But they cannot act against other companies unless it can be proved the ID was produced for fraudulent purposes.

Ruth Taylor, head of North Yorkshire's special investigations team, said: "Clearly this is an area which needs to be tightened up.

"Our initial concern was the use of false proof of age cards but clearly the problem is much bigger than that.

"With these cards and qualification papers, a person could be virtually anybody."

Ron Gainsford, chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute, described the results as "alarming".

He said: "I will be sending details of this study to the home secretary and Gerry Sutcliffe, the DTI minister, urging them to consider new controls over the supply of material which can be used for ID purposes.

"A simple registration of suppliers, together with rules about how they can supply ID material, would be straightforward and easy to enforce."

Fighting back on ID fraud
27 Nov 03  |  Business

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