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I am not 18 yet, actually 17. And I found this awesome way to make money online, but it requires you to be at least 18 years of age. The website asks for a photo of your ID at the registration. So I changed a 9 to an 8 in my DoB on a photo of my passport. Can I get into any sort of trouble for using this slightly adjusted photo of an ID?

(I personally believe that I won't since I don't have any bad intentions, I'm doing it just for the sake of making a bit money online for myself.)

I'm just not sure if it could count as forgery (since I've photoshopped it myself) or any type of misdemeanor.

EDIT: How about if I use ID from another country?

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    You do have bad intentions: you intend to lie to avoid an age restriction. – phoog Nov 2 '16 at 14:54
  • @phoog I meant that my lie won't do any harm to anyone. – Igor Tatarnikov Nov 2 '16 at 15:48
  • Your lie decreases the inherent trustworthiness of the system. It also negatively affects others who would not otherwise need to compete with you, a person not permitted to actually compete. – Nij Nov 2 '16 at 20:45
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    Anything that bills itself as "an awesome way to make money online" is almost certainly not worth spending serious time on, and certainly not worth the legal risk you are talking about. – Pedro Nov 3 '16 at 1:42
  • A lie about your age to a party that is intending to rely on that information is fraud no matter what tactics you use to corroborate the lie and can get you in serious trouble. Indeed, the penalty for fraud on the Internet for the purpose of economic gain is likely a felony, while using a fake ID to buy tobacco or get into an age restricted club in real life is likely to be merely a misdemeanor or petty offense. Economic gain is a major aggravating factor and the more you earn the more serious the offense. – ohwilleke Nov 3 '16 at 6:07
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Your passport is not yours, it is owned by the government and altering it, even in a digital copy, is a serious crime. For example, passport fraud in Australia attracts a penalty of 10 years jail or a fine of 1,000 penalty units (currently $180,000).

  • This is an excellent point that a lot of people do not realize. Do you know if a driver's license is also owned by the state? I've heard it is, but could not find any reference that says so. – animuson Nov 3 '16 at 14:47
  • A driver's license is property of the state, because you must return it upon demand. – Daniel Anderson Nov 3 '16 at 14:56
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Using any altered document is a crime in most jurisdictions, and in the U.S., most states count it as a potentially serious felony punishable by prison time and/or fines.

As for it not "harming" anyone, if you are defrauding someone else, you're causing harm. There are many legal reasons that companies must care about whether their customers are of legal age, and the company you're considering lying to could end up being investigated if your fraud is discovered, which could cost considerable money to them.

The point is, if you don't like being lied to, don't do it to anyone else. It's good morals, and it will keep you out of trouble!

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