In 2020, Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati alone seized 14,504 fraudulent identification items – 97 percent of which originated in China and Hong Kong.
Among the types of identification documents found were licenses, holographic stickers or seals, laminates, social security cards, passports, and visas.
“Officers found that the holographic stickers, laminates, and seals were often shipped with blank cards showing intent to manufacture fake credit cards and IDs to be sold on the black market. The shipments were headed to addresses throughout the United States,” a Customs and Border Protection summary noted.
Officials warned that the fake IDs could be used for a host of nefarious activities including “public benefit fraud and human trafficking”:
“Fake IDs are used to facilitate underage drinking, which is dangerous in and of itself. The story can get even darker, however. Fake documents are associated with identity theft, public benefit fraud, and human trafficking, and terrorists use them to evade travel screening measures.”