Buying a fake identity card turns out to be a piece of cake. Minors sometimes buy them for twenty euros in order to enter 18-plus hotels and restaurants and buy alcohol.
The youngsters arrive to the counterfeit IDs via classmates who can forge cards with computer programs or buy them on the internet.
Often a different nationality is chosen when copying, so that inaccuracies are less noticeable. In Whatsapp groups and in schools the falsified ID cards are traded with ease and for cheap. A fake ID costs between twenty and fifty euros, depending on quality.
Young people are very inventive in making themselves look older. Porters are trained to distinguish genuine identity cards from false ones, but in the dark the difference is often difficult to see.
Often a different nationality is chosen for falsified identity, so that inaccuracies are less noticeable.
The municipality is also familiar with the fake identity cards, but it is unknown on what scale it occurs. Recent research commissioned by the municipality shows that in 87 percent of cases visitors to the Amsterdam hotel and catering industry are not asked for an identity document.
According to a spokesman, it is mainly up to entrepreneurs in the catering industry to ensure that minors do not drink alcohol. The municipality then checks whether they actually do so.
Royal Dutch hotel and catering industry in the Netherlands says they hear rumours that on a busy night out, the police do not wait to be called over a false ID. This discourages entrepreneurs in the catering industry from calling the police.
The police are contradicting that:
“If we encounter it, we will do so either by criminal law or by means of a hearty conversation with the parents of the person concerned.”
The police sees no trend in the number of reports, but does not keep any specific figures on them. There are no targeted controls to combat the phenomenon.
Jeroen Besseling, owner of the student café De Gieter in the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat, has a minimum age of eighteen for many years:
“Everyone who looks young must be obliged to prove their identity with us.”
We can afford to refuse people coming it. American driving licences and photographs of passports are not included. But it can really happen that somebody slips through.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, forgery of identity cards is one of the most common forms of fraud.
“The use of Home Affairs is small in this phenomenon, which is a fairly victimless form of fraud. In particular, we help victims of identity fraud. However, the ministry says that it has contact with municipalities about the control measures.”