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Rewards for fake ID

I found this article amusing. First you find bar owners paying their bouncers a bounty for every fake ID that they confiscate. Then you hear from police who say people with fake IDs are so adamant about their credentials that they practically beg officers to investigate them:

Glendining offers his doormen $20 gift certificates for each fake ID pulled. In recent years, the fake IDs have gotten better.

“You really gotta make the best effort you can,”Glendining said.

The bar keeps a sample of real and fake IDs around for doormen to learn from. Telltale signs of a fake include IDs that crack when bent, eye color or height that doesn’t match or a nervous person shuffling. But oftentimes, it comes down to the feel of the ID.

“Some doormen have a real knack for it,” Glendining said.

If a person insists the ID is real after a bouncer determines it is fake, doormen tell them to call the police.

“If they call us we’ll come down there, but 99 percent of the time it’s for a fake ID,” Mulson said. “We’ll say ‘You gave it a nice try; there’s Bridge Street.’ A few boneheads swear it’s good.”

Officers give said bonehead a chance to walk away before radioing in to determine the ID’s authenticity. The officer will arrest the person if they continue to insist the identification is real, Mulson said.

“Some people try to talk themselves into an arrest,” Mulson said.

Funny. My question is (from an economics perspective, of course) why don’t bouncers just pay people ten dollars per fake ID when they can be cashed in for twenty?

Perhaps it is because of the cost of making the IDs…I have heard that in some states people pay more than $25 to have a fake ID made, but this must be for low quantities and absent the incentive/rewards discussed here. Anyway, this case is a good study of how incentives can improve the quality of controls.

Posted in Security.


4 Responses

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  1. ID says

    a blog on fake id

  2. fake id says

    They sure are making fake id’s better i work as a bouncer at a club and it is really hard to tell which are a fake id and a real id these days.

  3. lost identification says

    That’s a good kind of job. For every fake id you’ll earn 20 bucks. Maybe I should start telling my friend to pump-up and apply to those kind of bars.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Emergent Chaos linked to this post on March 2, 2006

    Economics of Detecting Fake ID

    During 2005, the Vail Police Department alphabetized hundreds of drivers licenses, passports and other shoddy identification that will be incinerated at year’s end. Once the IDs come through the department’s doors, they’re gone for go…



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