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ID Scratching: What is It?

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With how quickly the fake ID industry is changing, it’s important to stay up to date on all of the new methods of faking ID cards and driver’s licenses. Accidentally selling alcohol or tobacco products to a minor or individual who should not be purchasing these products is dangerous to your business and could end up costing you your store or restaurant. At Age Validators, we’re proud to provide ID scanners that will alert you and catch information about someone that you may have missed. Contact us today for all of your ID-scanning needs!

What is “ID Scratching”?

Scratching is one of the more popular ways to allow a minor or an individual who may have had his or her license revoked to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. Because the magnetic stripe is used to verify the customer’s age and information before the purchase is completed, the stripe will be scratched on the card so that it can’t be swiped. Because the scratched card is legitimate and usually government issued, it won’t raise as many questions as a traditional fake ID would. After the stripe is damaged, the date and name will be carefully changed on the card so that it will appear to be the legitimate information of the individual. Since the card can’t be scanned, the owner of the bar or nightclub or the convenience store clerk will be required to look over the ID, and the naked eye can often miss nuances in the card that a swipe on an ID scanner would not. And, since this is often done under time constraints or in a dimly-lit area, the ID may pass and the individual may gain entrance into the bar or be able to purchase alcohol or tobacco.

How Do I Know if an ID is Scratched?

Unfortunately, there is no sure way to check whether an ID that is scratched is actually damaged or has been falsified. One way to check with the customer is to ask when his or her birthday is or about any other information the card. If he or she falters or provides wrong information, then that might raise a red flag. Asking common questions such as “What is your zodiac sign?” or “When did you graduate from college?” will catch an individual who has falsified his or her ID off-guard as well. You can also ask to hold the ID in your hand and run your fingers over it to check for any lumps or bumps that might alert you to an altered ID. A bright flashlight will expose any corners or imperfections of a card, especially if you’re checking it in low or dim light. If you’re still unsure, check the photo very carefully. In the case it has been changed, you can check to see if there are any differences on his or her face, hair color or length, eye color, or other features. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel that the customer may be underage. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in the long term.

What Do I Do if I Think I’ve Identified a Scratched Fake ID?

If you feel that the ID that you’re holding is fake, you can proceed in a few ways. A great way to confirm or deny the card or driver’s license is to ask for a second ID. This could be a school ID, a library card, a work badge, or any other card that has a photo on it. Another action you can take is to follow your company’s false ID policy or call your local police department. It’s not recommended that you keep the ID in question, but you can provide the information to the police officer and let the authorities take over. It may end up that the ID is valid, but annoying the customer who is legally able to purchase alcohol or tobacco is much better than selling these products to a minor and then having to take responsibility for the sale.

Keeping up with all of the new and innovative ways that ID cards and driver’s licenses are being falsified can be overwhelming, but with an ID scanner from Age Validators, you’ll have a weapon against selling to underage customers. Equip yourself and your business with an ID scanner and always have a proof of diligence for all of your sales. With approved ID scanners for every state, Age Validators is your online resource. Shop now!