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Explained: How do the Village Corner people always know which IDs are fake?

BY ANDY KROLL

Published September 18, 2007

CORRECTION APPENDED: This photo caption incorrectly credited Rob Migrin. Emma Nolan-Abrahamian took the photo.

Angela Cesere
Lorin Brace, a manager at Village Corner, holds a handful of fake IDs. The store has caught more than 40 fakes in the last three weeks. It used to keep a Wall of Shame to display the phony IDs it collected. (EMMA NOLAN-ABRAHAMIAN/Daily)

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When it comes to spotting fake IDs, it's all a matter of experience.

So says Lorin Brace, who works nights at Village Corner, a campus grocery store known for confiscating the fake IDs of underage students.

Brace, a four-year veteran of Village Corner, said he sees "hundreds and hundreds of IDs from all over the country or the world" on an average weekend night.

"Eventually you sort of figure out what certain IDs are supposed to look like or feel like," Brace said. "You get the feeling after a while if they're too stiff or too faded."

The store once had a fake ID Wall of Shame, adorned with confiscated IDs from California to New Jersey, but it has since been taken down.

Still, looking through a stack of more than 40 phony IDs taken in the last three weeks alone reveals Village Corner's fast eye for fakes.

"Some of them are really bad," Brace said. "But some of them are a little bit harder to tell."

When a Village Corner employee does confiscate a fake ID, some students have been known to get a bit hostile, Brace said.

He said it's not uncommon to be berated after taking someone's fake ID.

In one instance, a young woman leapt over the front counter in an attempt to get her fake ID back. Not only was she unsuccessful, but the fake ID listed her actual address, which allowed the police to locate her shortly thereafter.

Above all, Brace said that there's no secret to spotting a fake ID. It merely comes down to hard-earned experience and intuition.

"There may be certain things you look for," Brace said, "but really it's just knowing what a real ID is supposed to look like."

Andy Kroll