Common Types of Document Fraud
Forensic Document Examination is a common resource for resolving criminal and civil cases involving allegations of forgery. “Forgery” is a legal term used to broadly define the intentional falsification of a document. It is normally the result of the intent of someone to deceive another person or entity for financial gain. Two of the most common types of forgery are: Signature forgery: Document examiners are trained as handwriting experts. They will analyze a signature in question by comparing it to several samples of the subject’s true signature to identify similarities and differences. Common examinations include signatures on wills, contracts, loan agreements, etc. Document alterations: Documents such as contracts, journals, inventory lists, time sheets, medical records may have writing or numerals added, deleted or altered in some manner. A document examiner will use various laboratory instruments to resolve such issues. For example, one instrument is designed to examine inks in the infrared light spectrum. It is used to examine documents that allegedly have an alteration such as the numeral “1” changed to a “4”. The addition of the second stroke, made with a different pen, may be determined with the lab instrument.
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