Jacqueline here, with AllClear ID. If someone were to ask you to trade your identity for a beer, or something else of a similar value, you would definitely say no. However, identity thieves aren’t that straightforward. Companies are occasionally created to serve as a front for stealing identities. You may think you are purchasing a product or service, but in reality you are providing thieves with everything they need to take your identity.

Take for example this recent news story involving fake IDs and teenagers.  Police arrested 15 people, including 14 teenagers, on various charges related to purchasing fake IDs from an international counterfeiting ring. According to The Saratogian the teens paid $75 by money order and also provided sensitive information like their Social Security number and birth date to a company based in China. The IDs were seemingly authentic and even had embedded security features like magnetic strips and black light holograms.

However, despite the criminal charges the teens are facing, the biggest problem they have on their hands is the lifetime of id theft risk ahead.

This story does provide us with a valuable ID lesson: be careful where you share your information. These teens thought they were just buying IDs, but in reality they were trading their identity for a couple of beers. Once you provide your information to companies, they then have complete control over what they do with it. Companies providing illegal products or services may not have the best intentions for their use of your personal information.

You can read more about this story on MSN Money or at The Saratogian website.