The unprecedented pandemic year is finally behind us, but the search is always on in Cincinnati for fake identification documents being sent into the country. Despite the disruptive events of the previous 12 months, CBP officers and specialists at the Port of Cincinnati remained committed to safeguarding our borders and serving the American people.
In 2020, CBP officers in Cincinnati seized 14,504 fraudulent identification items, in the form of licenses, holographic stickers or seals, laminates, social security cards, passports, visas, and other types of identification. Over 97 percent of all fake documents seized at the Port of Cincinnati originated in China and Hong Kong.
Officers found that the holographic stickers, laminates and seals were often shipped with blank cards showing intent to manufacture fake credit cards and IDs to be sold on the black market. The shipments were headed to addresses throughout the United States.
“Fake IDs are used to facilitate underage drinking, which is dangerous in and of itself,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “The story can get even darker, however. Fake documents are associated with identity theft, public benefit fraud and human trafficking, and terrorists use them to evade travel screening measures. Our officers and specialists are trained to recognize fake identification documents and they are dedicated to protecting innocent civilians.”
CBP officers coordinate identification findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and other federal partners in order to combat any illicit activity. Visit CBP’s YouTube channel to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures the nation’s borders.
Fake documents play a significant role in human trafficking, and CBP would like to raise awareness of the dangers associated with fake documentation and human trafficking by supporting #WearBlueDay, recognized on Jan. 11, in support of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign. Follow @DHSBlueCampaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, controland protection of U.S. borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.