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Disguised Handwriting

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Where it is suspected that documents have been used in a fraud it is important that they be handled correctly.  

Correct handling ensures that:  

* their admissibility as evidence in court is protected; 

* their value as evidence is protected; and 

* their forensic value is protected.


The following tips should be remembered:


1. Writing

 Do not write on the documents.



2. Marks

  Do not put any marks , such as highlighter on the documents.



3. Folding

 Do not fold the documents.



4. Photocipies

 Make photocopies of the documents and write and highlight on the photocopies.



5. Folders

   Where practical, keep the documents in a protective folder and handle them only when absolutely necessary.  

In many situations a plastic folder will be appropriate. However plastic should not be used where there is a risk of the ink or toner sticking to the plastic.



6. Secure

 Store documents in a secure area with strictly limited access.



7. Storage

 Store documents in an area with low humidity to avoid damage to documents.They should not be left in direct sunshine.



8. Notes

    Make notes as to when, where and how the documents came into your possession.  

The notes should be made at the time that you obtain possession of the documents or as soon thereafter as possible.



 9. Identified

  Ensure that the documents are uniquely identified.



10. Movements

    Keep a written record of all movements of the document when it passes from the control of one person to another.




If it is contemplated that the documents will be used for criminal prosecution it is suggested that the advice of the police department be obtained.


In addition forensic laboratories will be better able to perform tests on the documents to verify handwriting, pens and paper used, fingerprints of people who have handled the documents, etc. so that perpetrators can be identified and their identities proved in court.



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For more tips, advice and practical pointers see Fraudproof Your Business Manual.