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Several different methods can be used to forge signatures. One method is the "freehand method", whereby the forger, after careful practice, replicates the signature by freehand. Although a difficult method to perfect, this often produces the most convincing results.
In the "trace-over method", the sheet of paper containing the genuine signature is placed on top of the paper where the forgery is required. The signature is traced over, appearing as a faint indentation on the sheet of paper underneath. This indentation can then be used as a guide for a signature.
A number of characteristics can suggest to an examiner that a signature has been forged, mostly stemming from the forger focusing on accuracy rather than fluency. These include:
- Shaky handwriting
- Pen lifts
- Signs of retouching
- Letter proportions
- Very close similarity between two or more signatures
- Jackson, Andrew R. W. (2007). Forensic Science. Pearson Education. pp. 235–238.
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