Cut and Paste Example

Cut and Paste Forgery

There are times when a person attempts to extract the signature from one document then place that signature onto another document claiming that the second document is in authentic document. In these cases typically the owner of the questioned document cannot produce an original document with an ink signature. When two signatures are exact duplicates of each other one is a copy of the other or the other or both copies of the third unseen signature. In the latter instance only copies of documents will be produced. This process is called cut and paste.

Cut and paste with a computer

Cut and paste can be created using Photoshop or other software. The source document is read into Photoshop. The signature is extracted from the source document. A second document is then read into Photoshop. The extracted signature is then placed onto the destination document. The document is then printed and photocopied. Only the resulting photocopy is presented without evidence of the cut and paste. If this procedure is done well the fraud may escape detection. If he cut and paste is done in a sloppy manner evidence of the forgery may remain for the forensic document examiner to find.

Cut and paste using manual methods

Cut and paste can be performed in the old fashioned manner. This is accomplished by making a photocopy of a document. Then physically cutting a section of the photocopy and pasting the signature or other writing onto another document. The fabricated document is then placed onto a photocopier with the resultant photocopy claimed as a copy of a lost original document. Remnant lines of the outline from the pasted copy may appear on the photocopy. The forger then uses a means such as white tape to hide the lines then makes another photocopy of the document. Often trace evidence is visible to the skilled questioned document examiner to expose the cut and paste.

An example of cut and paste

In this example the top black signature is a known signature while the second signature is a questioned. The bottom exhibit shows using Photoshop to place a copy of questioned signature on top of the known signature. This procedure shows conclusively the two are duplicates of each other. The two signatures are intentionally slightly offset so each are visible. Otherwise the black signature would be obscured by the red signature. The red signature is slightly smaller than the black signature. In this case, both signatures are photocopies. There is no way to know whether one is a cut and paste of the other, or both are a cut and paste of a third, unknown signature.

cut and paste example