Do you remember the sweet, elderly woman who came to your store and bought that bottle of vodka? Well, turns out she wasn’t elderly at all. In fact, she wasn’t even 21 years old. That’s right, the latest viral social media trend involves teens who create elaborate disguises to buy alcohol from unsuspecting cashiers.
Some teens have realized a mask, a cheap grey wig, and 10 minutes worth of makeup is a great way to buy alcohol underage. It has become part of a growing trend on the popular video sharing app TikTok, where grannies-in-disguise film themselves or their friends attempting to buy alcohol while in character. One video that has since been removed depicts a blonde girl having wrinkles drawn on her face with makeup. The video then shows the girl using a walker, meandering slowly across the parking lot. According to comments made by the poster, the girl was not asked to show an ID when purchasing the alcohol.
Comedian Jason Lawhead tweeted “Now that we have to wear masks, this is the best time to buy alcohol with a fake ID since the early 80's…”. These disguises combined with a face covering to protect against COVID-19 create a high-risk situation for business owners who know how crucial it is to protect their liquor license.
Similarly, a Detroit man was arrested for using a disguise to steal thousands of dollars from several individuals at casinos in Michigan and Kansas. The man put together an elaborate scheme that involved prosthetic face masks, glasses, fake IDs, and even a walker to pull off his stunt. He used the fake IDs along with other illegally obtained personal information to make unauthorized check withdrawals at kiosks located inside the casinos.
It may be easy to fool other humans with these disguises, but these con artists are no match for our forensic ID scanning machines.