The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday its investigation found shops selling the sophisticated fake IDs for most Canadian provinces and U.S. states for about $50. Another $10 will get the customer a student university ID. The CBC said its investigation found the stores cater to underage teenagers.
The network said while the cards are just different from the real thing enough to allow their sale, they include security features such as magnetic strips, holograms and black-light images.
The CBC had four teens buy the fake IDs. They found it a quick and easy process, even when indicating to a sales clerk their goal was to use them to buy liquor.
One teen, Theresa, asked a shopkeeper if the card would get her into bars. He responded that he couldn't make such a claim and that the IDs are for novelty purposes only.
"Whatever you do with it is your business," the shopkeeper said. "If that's what you use it for that's what you do, but there's no guarantees on anything because that's not -- we don't really make them for that."
He advised her to change her look slightly from one card to the next.
The CBC said it then had two of the teens try out the IDs at a Toronto bar, with a manager's permission. One was waved into the bar by a bouncer, while the other, a 14-year-old, didn't succeed in ordering an alcoholic drink from a server who diligently examined the card.
Officials at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said they were contemplating seeking a cease-and-desist order for the ID seller.
"The university obviously is concerned that a counterfeit card is available," the university told the CBC. "Should we learn the identity of the vendor we would take action to notify them that they are in violation of our trademark and copyrights."