The Washington Post reports that the email is passed among college and high school campuses throughout much of the northeast is actually for a single Chinese company called PARTiTek in Nanjing, China.
The Post talked to one 19-year-old who said he received a quick response to his email inquiry, explaining it would be $300 for one ID, $200 for two, and $75 for20 or more.
After rounding up 19 of his friends he sent the money, and photographs with signatures to a Chinese address and waited. After a few weeks, 20 IDs showed up at his door hidden in the sole of a cheap pair of sneakers.
The liceneses are so good they're impossible to detect without a bar code scanner, but then there is no doubt.
When the bar code on the back of the phony licenses is scanned, at the very end of the readout appears "by PARTiTek."
PARTiTek, responding to an e-mail inquiry, acknowledged that the bar code is the company's but said it doesn't produce the licenses. ID experts Williams and Slagle said they had no idea why the telltale company name would be included in the bar code.
To fight the problem bars are issuing iPhone bar code scanners to their bouncers.