FOX Files Update: Fake ID Website Shut Down

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U.S. Senators pressure China after FOX Files investigation

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A Chinese web site exposed by FOX 2 for selling fake IDs is now shut down.  Investigative reporter Chris Hayes explains how U.S. Senators intervened after our first report.

Our fake IDs came in a package from China and were disguised to get through customs.  The package looked like it was just a wallet until I pulled up the false box bottom and unwrapped my new fake drivers licenses.

Four U.S. Senators, including Illinois’ Dick Durbin, took action.  They wrote the Chinese ambassador to investigate.

Sen. Durbin explained, "After we sent the letter protesting this web site, they closed it down.  I don’t know if the letter did it or not, but at least we called their attention to it."

If you look at a real I.D. and our fake, side by side, they're nearly identical.  We found tiny variations.  Look closely at our fake and you’ll see 'blu' instead of 'blue' eyes.  The real ID spells it out.  Look at the tiny state emblem and you’ll see our fake has more color. 

The differences are almost imperceptible, even under a black light, which is often used to spot fake IDs.  Put a fake under a black light and you'll even see hidden security features, like abbreviations of the issuing state repeated on the back.

Durbin said he immediately saw it as a bigger problem than just underage drinking.  He explained, "I think more about the people getting on airplanes, people that say they’re one person that they’re not and have an ID that’s credible enough to get them through the line.  That very thing defeats the purpose of security at the airport."

The Chinese web site was called ID Chief and it was the most popular seller of fakes.  Durbin added, though it`s shut down, "That’s not the end of the story.  There are going to be other sources and other web sites.  We have to be vigilant."

Durbin says it’s crucial not only to stamp down on other sellers of fake IDs, but also to improve the way the United States makes the real thing.

E-mail Chris.Hayes@TvStl.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ChrisHayesTV
Join Chris on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV

 

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FOX Files: How Criminals Could Hide With Fake ID's
FOX Files Investigation: Fake IDs

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About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

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