State News

Cuomo takes stand against fake IDs

Logan Reidsma | Photo Editor

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to enact initiatives that will crack down on underage students' use of fake IDs.

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo is cracking down on fake IDs.

Cuomo intends to enact initiatives to crack down on students using false identification to purchase alcohol while underage in the state of New York, according to press releases sent out recently by his office.

Cuomo shared his intentions, which include intense enforcement of identification at concerts across the state over the summer, in a release on Monday. Procedures to check identification to purchase alcohol at various shows over the past few months have led to almost 200 arrests, according to the release.

“Underage drinking and the bad decisions that follow can have devastating and life-altering consequences,” Cuomo said in the release. “By targeting fake IDs and increasing enforcement at summer concerts, we will help avoid needless tragedy and will send the message that this reckless behavior just isn’t worth it.”

In an Aug. 26 release, Cuomo discussed that, aside from the potential legal and health consequences associated with using a fake ID to purchase and consume alcohol while underage, students and young people are also potentially putting themselves at risk for identity theft while purchasing these fake identification cards from online sellers.

The college student demographic is a fairly prominent target for identity thieves because they tend to pay less attention to their credit statements and loosely manage their financial accounts as opposed to older age groups, according to an Aug. 26 Cuomo release.

According to 2014 research from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, 18 percent of identity theft victims were ages 20 to 29 and about six percent of victims were 19 years old or younger.

“Whenever anyone is communicating with criminals or submitting any type of personal information such as email, phone, address, photos, card data etc., they are putting their data at risk. There is no honor among thieves,” said Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert with BestIDTheftCompanys.com, in an email.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment, however. Identity theft expert Rob Douglas feels that although purchasing a fake ID online certainly poses a risk for identity theft, there are data breaches happening in the tens of millions every year with the same information that would have been provided to purchase a fake ID, but from a different source online.

Douglas said identity theft happens in the U.S. every two seconds. He added that it is best to treat personal information like a child by knowing where it is and who has it at all times.

Steps that students, or anyone, can take to prevent their sensitive personal information from being stolen range from being cautious as to whom they’re giving their information to online, to setting up security freezes and fraud alert on their financial accounts, Douglas said.

Those arrested with a fake ID face action that normally results in a suspension of their license for a minimum of 90 days, according to the Monday Cuomo release.

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