The Best Forgery can easily be detected in a minute if a correct technique is used. How?

No two persons are identical in terms of their thumb fingerprints and DNA fingerprints as most of us know. Similarly, no two individual handwritings or signatures are alike to those who are proficient in forensic handwriting analysis. Such persons are called Experts in Questioned Documents (QD) or Handwriting Experts, who possess a Master’s Degree in Science of Physics/Chemistry/Forensic Science, etc. along with long years of experience in handling various cases of signature forgery  from Courts/Police/Corporates/Banks/Insurance companies/Individuals examining documents such as sale deed, will, cheques, promissory notes etc.

While hand practiced forgeries are common in many forged documents, technology driven forgery of signature or handwriting is known as “Transplantation”. In other words, hand written matter created by scanning the needed parts of the written content, stored in a memory of a computer device, positioned in location/place/spot where needed to appear, which could be saved or be printed using an appropriate printer like colour laser printer, etc. to result in a document, sharp enough so as to appear as near original.

If such questioned documents are referred to the Government Forensic Laboratories such as Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) or State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) or reputed independent laboratories like Truth Labs, the first non-profit lab in India, the experts will detect the transplanted forgery in a way described below which is the subject matter for discussion in this blog.

Such mischief can easily be detected by superimposing the signatures one upon the other by capturing images or photographs of the original and questioned signatures perfectly fit as though looking as the original itself. The writing characteristics such as speed, slant, pen movement, skill, alignment, spacing, size & relative proportion of letters/characters, style, arrangement of letters/characters, pen pressure and line quality (depending on the quality of the document) do not change. In such cases, with one single instrument “Video Spectral Comparator (VSC)” which is the magic wand that finds the forgery just by flipping the document containing the suspected forgery inside the video spectral cabinet and examines the forged and original ones side by side. Superimposing one on the other can reveal that both are identical. In forensic handwriting science, the basic principle is if “TWO HANDWRITINGS” are identical, it must be a forgery-thereby detecting the superimposed signature/writing is a forged one.

To illustrate the technique, details of a case recently handled by Truth Labs is given below: 

A gentleman in grief approached Truth Labs to seek our expert’s opinion on a document claimed to be disputed with his forged signatures. A case was registered accordingly after collecting his admitted (signatures written by the author in his normal course of life) and specimen (signatures taken at our lab in the presence of a scientific staff) signatures. During the routine course of examination, few disputed signatures and few admitted signatures were found to be identical from all dimensions, which was confirmed through the observations made using VSC as they were superimposing one one another. In the midst of report generation, the client rushed to our lab with another document and asked us to consider this new document (b) and ignore the previously submitted disputed document (a). Upon preliminary examination, apart from the signatures of the client, rest all of the contents in (a) and (b) were identical. This raised a doubt why of all the signatures in document (b) and all other signatures are different and tallying with document (a). On careful study, one signature on a page could not be manipulated by cutting and pasting or morphing by the client because the signature was put on a security stamp impression which he could not have separated for manipulation. That was when it was gathered that the main culprit in this case was the client himself. When he realised that the report might not be in his favour, he later submitted another copy by digitally morphing, signing again and taking a black & white xerox (to hide any morphing marks) copy for examination. In order to prove himself innocent, he committed the same crime twice. 

In conclusion, the most trickiest cases can be solved with the correct technique and proficient personnel as “No Question remains Unanswered at Truth Labs!”.

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