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Masked Capers: Underage Buyers Exploiting the Pandemic

With changing regulations, and curbside pick-up and delivery options available for retailers and restaurants during changing times of concern and safety precautions, a new trend is popping up with masks. Underage buyers of alcohol and other age-restricted products are taking advantage of covering their age and identity with masks on their faces.


It’s even gone viral; some teenagers are dressing up as elderly patrons and buying whatever age-restricted product an unknowing retailer will let them have. Fox News reported that teens are celebrating their underage purchases on the social media platform TikTok looking more like dancing grandmas and grandpas.


One clever comedian on Twitter, Jason Lawhead, called this day and age under mask, “…the best time to buy alcohol with a fake ID since the early 80’s.” To counter this masked ploy, retailers and restaurants of age-restricted products should take the time to update training for employees and educate servers on the importance of ID checks.


Simulating difficult situations that occur at the point-of-sale is just one Guide to Best Practices mentioned by the FDA and our partner We Card in preparing for the unexpected. The BARS Program recommends training employees to ask for identification to anyone under 35.


As difficult and unforeseen circumstances arise during these times of uncertainty, retailers, restaurant and bar owners must still adhere to lawful carding practices or face the consequences. The BARS Program can help avoid additional hardship during this pandemic with a proactive, responsible compliance curriculum. The BARS Program is insurance against masked bandits no matter the situation. Learn more about The BARS Program by visiting

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