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Altered or forged documents

Paper documents are everywhere.  All day, every day we see them, handle them & complete them.  But from time to time it becomes evident that documents are altered.  It could be a digit has been added, a number or letter altered or an entry added at a different time to the original content.  We can carry out examination and comparison within a controlled environment to determine if this is the case.

Checking the authenticity of a questioned document
Questionned Signaturs
Questionned signature comparison

Questioned Signatures


Many individuals can be a victim of a forged signature.  Whether this be on a finance agreement, tenancy agreement, a cheque and more.  Last Will & Testament, Land Registry forms and legally binding agreements all can be disputed from time to time. We carry out hundreds of cases comparing ‘questioned’ signatures with ‘controlled’ signatures that are not in dispute to determine authorship.

The secret to a reliable comparison are the control signatures provided for comparison.  We are happy to discuss the ways to ensure the best control signatures are obtained before a report is commenced. 


In addition our fingerprint experts may be useful in identifying any fingerprints associated with a questioned signature.  

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Questioned Handwriting


Many documents are handwritten and disputed as been forged or copied or their authorship is denied, such as threatening letters or dealer lists.  Examinations and comparisons can be carried out to determine this.

It is important that for a comparison, suitable control samples on an individual's handwriting are provided.  We are happy to provide advice on how to obtain these controls samples in the correct manner.

Forensic handwriting comparison
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ESDA Testing


ESDA testing can be used to show impressions on paper caused by writing.  This occurs when resting on top of the document under investigation. 


This technique can be used when there is dispute relating to if documents are written at the same time, on mass or if handwriting or signatures have been completed by tracing.

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Type Face Comparison

Typewriters, remember them, well if you have a case involving a type written document.  It is possible to identify the type writer that produced the document by comparing the damage features recorded on the typed entries with control documents produced on the same device.  


It can also be possible to get an indication as to when a document was completed using a type writer by identifying when damage features occurred, by examination of control documents and which features are present within the questioned entries.   

Typewriter identification
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Trash marks on photocopies


When a document is copied on a photocopier it not only reproduces the document it is copying but also the "trash marks" that have built up on the glass screen of the copier or the drum of the copier with use.  Some of these "trash marks" can be transitory, such as smudges or hairs, other stay around a little longer such as correction fluid, whilst other such as scratches to the glass are permanent. Such marks can be used to both identify on which copier a document was produced and also roughly when a document was produced.  This can be invaluable in showing a document has been fabricated or was genuine.

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Forged Bank Notes

From time to time suspects are found either trying to buy goods with forged bank notes or with a large amount of forges notes and the equipment that is alleged was used to fabricate them.


If you need to have the questioned items examined for authenticity, and to check if they have "been through a washing machine" rather than been forged then give us a call for assistance.

Examination of allegedly forged bank notes
Examination of allegedly forged bank notes
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Examination of staples


Staples and other forms of  attaching one document to another can often be used to show if a page has been added or was part of the original document.

The type of staple used and the angle and location of the stable relative to the page and other course of buisness documents can also give information about who complied the completed documents and even where or when it was produced. 

For advice from our specialist forensic scientists either call or email us.

Counterfeit Official Documents

Counterfeit Official Documents

Official documents turn up from time to time that are not genuine official documents, these can be purporting to be passports, driving licences, identity cards, or other types of official documents issued by governments around the world. 

Most official documents have a number of security features from the type of paper and printing used to watermarks and other security features only visible under certain lighting conditions.


If you have a case which involves a disputed official document then contact our specialist scientists for advice.  

Comparison of Counterfeit Documents
Comparison of Counterfeit Documents
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