It’s a passport to trouble — and it can be bought for just $260 on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens.
In just one hour, The Post was able to buy a phony green card, Social Security card and New York state driver’s license from a stranger on a corner — all of which could serve as a gateway to obtain legitimate IDs.
The cards are frighteningly real — convincing enough to fool creditors, potential employers and security at buildings and even the airport.
Experts said the biggest fear is that these IDs are being bought by people who slipped past border crossings.
“You get that legitimate ID, and this one goes away,” said John Cutter, retired NYPD deputy chief of the Intelligence Division, as he tossed the fake Social Security card in the air.
“The next thing you know, you’re legit even though you never came across the border legally, nobody really knows who you are, you’ve never paid taxes, but now you’re a legitimate citizen, and now you start your history.
“That’s the scary part, because, let’s face it, people working in government agencies aren’t always cognizant of the security risks of these things,” said Cutter, who runs a private security company.
On Roosevelt Avenue, known to investigators as the “East Coast epicenter” for fake IDs, officials believe 10 mills operate between 103rd and 76th streets.
In 2007, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown netted one of the gang-related groups. It was raking in more than $1 million annually selling the bogus cards on the streets. Investigators found that while most of the ring’s buyers were illegal immigrants, a handful were criminals involved in identity theft.
Five years later, the illegal industry continues to thrive and sellers on the street avoid the watchful eyes of patrol cops and surveillance cameras.
2012-02-28 17:32 编辑：crystal156