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May We See Your ID, Please?

Sunday, March 25, 2012 by

The simple truth is that the web hosting industry is the target of, and host (pun intended?) to, a large percentage of individuals who attempt to perpetrate identity theft. This is an unfortunate situation, but sadly people often attempt to purchase web hosting with fraudulent credit cards and other stolen credentials. Generally the motivating factor in using a stolen identity to purchase hosting involve things like warez or other copyrighted materials such as music and movies, or for spamming or phishing purposes; none of which HostGator tolerates on our network.

The efforts of our Pending Department prevent upwards of 6,000 fraudulent sign-ups each month. One of the means used to prevent such sign-ups is a request to provide us with a copy of a government-issued identification card. In that we are a global company with Customers in virtually every non-embargoed nation in the world, we are dealing with countless types of identification cards. Sometimes, they are genuine. Other times, not so much. Below are a few of the more interesting responses we’ve received to our request for the aforementioned identification cards. These images are exactly as we received then, save for the black boxes covering the personal information of those who did not actually intend to sign up for web hosting.

This unfortunate gentleman appears to suffer from some type of carnival funhouse mirror condition… or perhaps an inability to properly use the crop and resize functions of Photoshop. He may, or may not, be named Megan:

fake vietnam id

Obviously a fake, but what is most concerning is his mouth and nose seem to be fading out of existence. Never mind his height being listed as “7.2”:

fake indian id

What may not be clearly visible in this image is the text under the picture, which says “See How Cute Is The New Addition To Our Family.” Also note “Restrictions: Must Wear Diaper”:

fake california id

Moving right along, to “Lara” here, who was apparently born in 2009 and has a rather unique height of “19”:

fake north dakota id

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you “Batman Bin Suparman,” from Singapore:

fake singapore id

We’ve also had a few notable individuals attempt to sign up for hosting. You may be familiar with Mr. Brendan Frasier:

fake brendan frasier id

Here’s “Connie,” from Delaware, whom vaguely resembles Brad Pitt. I’m not too certain the relevance of including Graduation Celebration instructions on an ID, but I digress:

fake brad pitt id

The lovely and talented Keira Knightley. I was under the impression that she was from the UK, but apparently she’s actually from Florida. Obviously a conscientious individual who cares about her fellow man, being an organ donor and all:

fake keira knightley id

Agent Mulder, surely desiring to create a site involving aliens. The truth is out there, and so forth:

agent mulder id

Next up is a two-parter. This individual sent in not only their “ID,” but also a picture of themselves holding the ID, to further prove their identity.  So, initially we received this:

fake philippines id

Followed shortly thereafter by:

fake id

Below is what appears to perhaps be a French ID, aside from the fact that we suspect it may not be official and, in fact, it might even be homemade.  Surely the finest colored pencils were used in order to replicate an official document, but with our collective keen eye we determined that this ID raised enough red flags for us to consider it most likely counterfeit:

homemade_id

Our next ID may not be completely homemade, but it’s a close second. If not for the name, age, and gender having clearly been Photoshopped in, our attention may have been brought to the fact that the picture (on the otherwise blurry photograph) is clearly a selfie. While it is possible, in this modern age, that government agencies would accept selfies for their official documents, we have our doubts about this one:

fake nigeria id
This next person didn’t really try to fool us, they apparently just sent us an image from Discover Card’s own advertising. No points for creativity were awarded for this one, but here it is anyway:
fakecard
Only slightly more effort went into the following image, which is clearly just a sample identification card image, and features a birthday of 00/00/0000:

fake california drivers license

 

We will now enter the celebrity portion of this batch of fake IDs. The following image arrived with an explanation, and we quote: “I could only acquire a photo ID of CIA card with my name Michael Westen.” It is worth noting that the customer’s name was not, in fact, Michael Westen:

fake CIA id

 

We quickly determined that we could also acquire a photo ID of CIA card in the name of Michael Westen, on eBay:

Michael Westen CIA ID

 

Up next we have Mr. Bradley Cooper, of “The Hangover” fame as well as the famous “Ellen” selfie from the 2014 Oscars. One way or another, he found himself on a “CEO” identification card… but he’s not getting hosting here with this ID, CEO or not:

fake bradley cooper id
Rounding out our celebrity portion is the character made famous by Will Ferrel in the movie Talladega Nights, Mr. Ricky Bobby himself!:

fake ricky bobby id

 

For our final image, let’s talk about puns. Puns are something that we generally try to avoid, when given a choice. But this next picture simply makes it unavoidable. This is, bar none, the best ID that we’ve ever been sent… and it’s not even a fake, per se. But if we were giving out prizes for this, then we would award this ID one entire Internet as a prize. As for that pun, well, this ID quite literally takes the cake:

fake id on cake

Yes, that is what it looks like; someone baked a cake and used their ID as decoration and then sent us a picture. They didn’t physically send us the cake, unfortunately. For the record, while our Fraud Prevention Department was highly entertained by this, this was not acceptable as a valid form of ID for our purposes, so they did ultimately have to send us a proper scan. Nonetheless, we applaud their creativity!

Given that an ID on a cake is pretty hard to top (did we really just slide another pun into this post?), we will likely be retiring this blog post topic. We’ve had a lot of fun with the posts, and fraudsters beware, we’re as vigilant as ever… but a cake ID, that’s more than we ever hoped for.

As we’ve explained before, if we have reason to believe that an account sign-up may be of a fraudulent nature, we will request that a Government-issued ID be sent in for verification purposes.  As was the case with “Heidi,” here:

fake oregon driver license

If, after we receive the aforementioned ID, we then still have reason to believe that everything isn’t on the up-and-up, we will request that the individual then send in a picture of themselves holding their ID.  Again, here is “Heidi”:

Following the receipt of this image, we knew that “Heidi” was not legitimate, though I won’t reveal the multiple things that made this abundantly clear.  We then sent a reply back informing them of our decision to not host them, and included the following image, which we were able to easily locate via a quick image search:

Up next is Rebecca.  She chose to send us an oddly-angled image, though we were quite impressed to see that her license was issued at 2:53pm and has an expiration date of “never.”  Aside from her diaper restriction, she is also 19 1/2 feet tall, a “cute driver” and a “love donor”:

fake florida driver license

Despite having a New Jersey ID, as opposed to a Florida one like Rebecca there, Brian seems to have gotten the same deal on a never-expiring driver’s license.  Though Brian seems to have an extra feature: Full Time Baby Status, which is pretty legit.  He also lives on Baby Drive Street, also clearly legit.  The best part is that Brian’s signature consists entirely of little handprints:

fake new jersey drivers license

This next ID is interesting and unique in that it simply doesn’t contain a picture at all, simply a blue box where the picture should be.  There’s various other things we could point out, like the new text in the fancy font clearly placed over the blurred out background… if not for our keen eye catching the blue rectangle though, this “Danmark” ID card might’ve slipped past us:

fake denmark driver license

Our celebrity portion begins with the “Driver’s International License” of one of the more well-known movie stars of yesteryear, Mr. Steve McQueen.  As shown by our past fake ID blog posts, celebrities will stop at nothing to acquire web hosting, even returning from beyond the grave:

fake steve mcqueen id

Well, I’m not too sure what to say about Jude Law here.  I’ll be honest, when this ID was sent to me, I didn’t realize this was a celebrity.  Admittedly, it was a female colleague who revealed to me that this was, in fact, an actor named Jude Law.  You now have full disclosure on this particular ID.  However, Jude if you want web hosting from Hostgator, we’re going to need to see a legitimate ID, sir:

fake jude law driver license

The curious thing about our next passport is not necessarily that this gentleman is named Susan, but rather he is named both Susan and Tyrone.  United States passports clearly show your name in two different places; to the right of the picture and below it.  So, he’s Susan on the right and Tyrone underneath:

fake us passport

Traveling can be stressful.  Valuable is the friend with whom you are able to embark on long journeys.  In light of that, I’d very much like to take a trip with Mr. Happy Traveler:

fake us passport card

Here we have a two-fer.  This person may, or may not, be named either Caroline or Chris.  Additionally, they may or may not be a resident of either New York or Minnesota.  Either way, they won’t be hosting with us:

fake driver license

What is the most appropriate way to follow up a two-fer?  Well, with a three-fer, of course! Here we have three separate instances that all used the same fake ID, with the same pictures that appears to have been taken from perhaps someone’s old MySpace page:

fake vietnam id

We begin the celebrity portion of our program here with Paula, who looks eerily like Trey Parker of South Park fame:

fake new york driver license

Absolutely no idea why Justin Timberlake has the words “Baby 4 Ever” emblazoned across his Pennsylvania ID, though it is suspected that it is in some way related to his continuing mission of, in fact, bringing sexy back:

fake justin timberlake driver license

So… many… jokes… for… this… ID! I just can’t choose the best way to express the total lack of tiger-blood-infused non-winning:

fake charlie sheen drivers license

As always, we save the best for last.  Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you… the one, the only… the King himself, Mr. Elvis Presley!  He’s alive, and he wants to host with HostGator!:

fake elvis presley id

And Elvis has now left the building!

All of the above were clearly failed attempts to Jedi Mind-Trick us.  Fortunately, The Force is strong within The Gator!

In the meantime, feel safe in the thought that we remain vigilant in our mission to prevent fraudulent sign ups. HostGator: keeping the internet safe from fraud since 2002!

11 Comments
  • HostGator
    26 March 2012 at 9:47 am

    I am happy to say that a new newsletter is actually being worked on at this moment and will be sent out very soon.

    • CandleForex
      11 May 2012 at 2:25 am

      Yeah? Looking forwards to that. Please consider injecting a bit of humor inot the newsletter like that of your blog.

  • Ryan Ash
    26 March 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Wow! Pretty crazy stuff!

  • Nuno Peralta
    27 March 2012 at 9:39 am

    I’m just curious, when do you ask for identification? I never had to give mines. The post is very funny btw!

  • epearl
    2 April 2012 at 2:16 am

    i must say, this is hillarious!! i did photoshop part time, but these guys are hillarious, if they can change a head on photoshop, tehy should be able to do otehr good imaginative things.. these guys have made my day. hope they try to get tehir pals out of jail with those id’s .. they will just join them..

  • CandleForex
    21 April 2012 at 1:33 am

    You would think scammers would try a little harder to get the ID look passable ..[palmface]

  • HostGator
    24 April 2012 at 12:58 pm

    We actually have part 2 ready to go, you’ll see it in the near future. :)

  • Subash Poudel
    4 May 2012 at 5:26 am

    :D hahaha ! Very funny. These peoples must try odesk and earn some money from photoshop work ate odesk! :)

  • Cheap Unlimited Web Hosting
    25 June 2012 at 1:43 pm

    The last picture in the post HAS to be the best. LOL! Buddy took the head off the license, blew it up, and stuck it on his body. I wonder what kind of holographic makeup he has on lol.

  • Vipin Webster
    4 August 2013 at 6:58 am

    This post made my day :) Me too own a web hosting business from last 2 years, came across a guy who many time in a revisit our website and provided many id’s

  • Shyuan
    11 November 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I commented on this blog post about 1-2 years ago, but I still couldn’t forget about how you made fun of the “Batman Bin Suparman” and I commented that it was a real name (of a Singaporean) but you do nothing. Now again, I just wanna let you know you are making fun of the real identity Batman Bin Suparman which I think is very irrespective. Read here, this guy indeed has a legit name, unfortunately he’s now a bad guy: bit.ly/batmaninjail. Probably because of people like you who made fun of him, stress given from society.