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Loyalty rewards programs offered by certain rental car companies are designed with convenience in mind—in one case, all too convenient for a car thief. By using fake credit cards and stolen drivers' licenses, a woman in Orange County, Calif., engineered the theft of 42 rental vehicles in 2012 from a major rental car company.
The two-year investigation initially targeted corrupt employees at the DMV who sold fraudulent driver's licenses and vehicle registrations to drug dealers, terrorists, organized crime figures, and other scumbags who used aliases to enter and leave the U.S. and otherwise facilitate their criminal activity.
Street gangs have become very adept at creating convincing false documents that can pass an officer's cursory inspection. Advanced computers, scanners, and color printers make detection more challenging, and traffickers often use fake birth certificates and other forgeries to obtain authentic state-issued documents. Biometric methods such as fingerprinting, retinal scans and DNA are a much more reliable way to identify suspicious people. Photos courtesy of Richard Valdemar.