Forensic Handwriting Analysis

We may live in an age where most transactions take place electronically, but the days of the old fashion paper transaction are not over, yet. Real signatures are still required for many forms of transaction; from the humble cheque to bank account and mortgage applications to benefits – but whose signature is that, really? Enter the forensic handwriting analysis expert.

Signature forgeries down but not out

Because of this, they are still a common form of fraud for many criminals and people looking to exploit a situation or change what they don’t like, such as in documents, wills, forged entitlements or outright counterfeiting.

A signature really is quite unique. Two signatures may look the same, but to the forensic handwriting analyst, the subtleties give the differences away. Everything from indentations, inks used, how or dates or numerals are written, to pen pressure.

It doesn’t stop there either. Identifying the date a document was created, changes that may have been made and erased or otherwise obscured are all possible.

A document can refer to many different things, from simple notes to complete contracts. It’s the element of the forger that makes the difference and provides the possibility for detection as no matter how good they are, there’s usually something that gives them away.

A signature is personal and so may be the dispute

Forged documents may surface anywhere, but quite often we will find them involved in some form of family disputes, for instance in a divorce when one partner forges the signature of another on a deed or bank account.

Signature forgeries often surface in cases of identity theft, a situation that can cause major harm to a person’s reputation and financial security.

At the extreme, a forensic handwriting analysis service will even take a letter for analysis and look for the DNA of the perpetrator take from the underside of a stamp.

Digital signatures are not completely secure either

The digital world requires a method to verify the identity of an individual too. Digital signatures are common, but we are not talking about an image of a signature inserted in a document online.

A typical digital signature consists of several parts; elements that relate uniquely to the person and those that are generated as a unique identifying element by the digital service in use. A password or pin, or a secrete question and answer that are used to generate a secure ID’s for use online. Forgers attack the weakest link, usually a personal aspect of the process. Once the forger is complete, they have assumed your identity for the purpose of that transaction.

Following the process that led to the forgery and the techniques used can sometimes identify aspects of a case that could lead to uncovering the identity of the perpetrator.

The unique circumstances determine how we approach your case, so talk to Blackhawk today if you feel your signature or identity is being forged and our forensic handwriting analysis team will investigate.

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