In Hamilton, like in virtually every city across the country, it's not uncommon for young people to try using fake IDs.
"It wouldn't be the first or the last time we heard of underage people using fake IDs," Catherine Martin, a Hamilton police spokesperson, said.
Recently, a CBC News investigation showed that modern-day fakes are much harder to spot. Sold as novelty items, many shops along Toronto's Yonge St. had the phony IDs that are just different enough from government-issued identification to evade police scrutiny.
But in Hamilton, these shops are not as common.This is a mock-up of a real student card from McMaster, with a cartoon where the photo would be. Can you tell them apart?
"They probably come and go, but we're not aware of any specific locations at this time," Martin said.
In fact, a quick search of online message boards reveals underage posters desperately asking for a location to buy a fake ID in Hamilton, but they're all told to visit Toronto if they want to get their hands on a phony card.
Still, whether they get the cards in Toronto or Hamilton, underage individuals using fake IDs is not uncommon, Martin said, and it's something the police are always on the lookout for.
CBC's investigation followed four teens with hidden cameras as they purchased the fake IDs and then successfully used them to gain entry to bars and even order liquor.
For about $50, customers can buy the identity card of their choice from almost any Canadian province or U.S. state. The card can include a real home address from the chosen area. At least one clerk said they found the real addresses using Google Maps.
An extra $10 secures the customer a fake student ID card from a selection of Canadian universities. Often bars will ask young patrons for a second piece of ID to confirm their license. The undercover teens purchased some student IDs, including one from McMaster University.
But if you compare a real McMaster student ID to the phony one obtained, the differences are obvious, according to Michelle Donovan, public relations manager for the university.
"The differences were dramatic. It was very obvious," she said.
Still, if the school could pinpoint exactly where the IDs are being sold, they would consider issuing a cease-and-desist order to the seller, according to an earlier statement by the university.
“The university obviously is concerned that a counterfeit card is available," the university told CBC News.
"Should we learn the identity of the vendor we would take action to notify them that they are in violation of our trademark and copyrights."