SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- One local bar is sounding the alarm after seeing an uptick in what they call very realistic fake IDs.

They said these IDs can fool scanners that bars use at the front door to determine whether or not someone is underage.

Ahead of Saint Patrick's Day, they reached out to Western Mass News to share how these IDs could be disastrous for their business and public safety.

The co-owner of Nathan Bills Bar and Restaurant, Robbie Gossman told Western Mass News he has a stack of IDs he's confiscated from patrons.

"The stack is just from like the past two weeks," Gossman said.

Straining the thin rubber band holding them together, Gossman said these IDs represent an uptick in the most real fake IDs he's ever seen, fooling his scanning system designed to nab false and underage cards.

"I don’t know how they’re doing it technology just catches up," Gossman said.

This is a driver's license at Nathan Bills claims is fake. When you put it into their scanners and the status pops up, confirming it's ok.

"They’re making fraudulent government IDs and nobody seems to care," Gossman said.

Nathan Bills is a Springfield bar, within a 10-minute drive of several local colleges.

It's also in a city, with proximity to several other states...so it's not unusual that bouncers would see out of state IDs.

Gossman explained that the new tactics they have to use, now that he can no longer trust his scanner, include handing possible fakes over to the detail officers on duty.

"They call it in they can tell whether it’s fake or not," Gossman said.

And because Gossman said the scannable fake IDs often list the person's name, Gossman said the best tactic for detecting a false card now is doing a time-consuming check of social media at the door.

"We’ve caught more through social media because of birthdays or year graduated. We're paying for more staff to take these precautions," Gossman noted.

Western Mass News spoke with one of the bartenders, Phalyn Filiauld who said they too have to check IDs, especially on the nights where the bar doesn't use detail officers.

Phalyn told us she has to rely on the most old-fashion form of detection.

"It would be a lot of body language especially when they’re trying to give a fake id. A lot of the time they try to distract you or talk with you a little bit," Phalyn explained.

Gossman said bars are often cautioned not to take out of state licenses, but take into account that many college students are of legal age...

"That’s a huge part of our business," Gossman noted.

And when the bar can still be legally held responsible for serving minors, who deliberately try to deceive them, Gossman said he's sure they've turned away real dollars from real IDs they just can't verify.

"I mean we’re just doing the best we can I mean we make mistakes," Gossman said.

As for the cards in the stack...

[How many people have ever said give me my ID back?]

"We say why don’t you let us call the police and let them run everything and if it’s real you can walk away with it? And at that point they usually leave," Gossman said.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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(5) comments


This won’t stop until there are consequences for the minor that is attempting to enter a bar with a fake id


I agree!


MA MGL 267 could potentially be used for such a purpose if they ever bothered to prosecute.



When i was younger we snuck beers in the woods and had a fire



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