Document Security Problems Printing Knowledge
Document Security Problems

Forgery of documents is becoming easier than ever before with the advancement being made in the technology of computers, scanners, printers and copiers. The problem does not only exist with check forgery but also with other documents that have dollar value or data value associated with them. The examples below give you an idea of some security problems that can occur on different documents.


Checks can be forged in several ways. Because of the advancement of technology in computers, scanners, printers and copiers, checks that do not have the proper security features, can be duplicated so that it is hard to tell the difference between the duplicated check and the original.

Another type of forgery that occurs on checks is the alteration of the dollar amount or the name of the payee on the check. This alteration is accomplished by a couple of different methods. If the check is printed through a printer, the image can be scraped off or lifted with tape and replaced with new information. The use of chemical solvents is another method which washes the ink from the check and then the amount is altered or the payee name is changed. It is important to incorporate security features in checks because the customer is held responsible for losses incurred from the forged checks unless they can show "due diligence". "Due diligence" means that they must show that they have taken proper precaution on their part to protect their checks. This includes everything from incorporating proper security features to proper storage of checks.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates can be altered in much the same way in which checks are altered. They may be duplicated or they can have the name and dollar amounts altered. This could result in a huge loss to a company if not detected soon enough.

Academic Transcripts

Transcripts have been altered by students to show higher grades than what were actually earned. Students alter their transcripts to affect their eligibility into another school or to mislead a prospective employer when being considered for employment.

Event Tickets/Passes

Scalpers will duplicate passes or tickets to events and then sell them for a profit. Not only is this a type of counterfeiting and illegal, it also can cause huge problems when large groups of people come to an event and find their seats have already been sold to another person.

Prescription Pads

Prescription blanks are forged and duplicated for one basic reason, to obtain drugs illegally. The quantity or number of refills for the prescription may be altered, the type of drug being prescribed is changed or the entire prescription is duplicated. The forgery of prescription blanks is accomplished much like forgery of checks. They are duplicated by use of computers, scanners, printers or copiers. They can also be altered by the use of chemical solvents to wash away the data and then that data is replaced by false information.



Without proper security features, coupons could be easily duplicated by using the technology of the computers and output devices that are available today. A restaurant owner may distribute a "Free Dinner" coupon to promote the opening of a new restaurant. If the coupon is illegally duplicated and distributed to more people than originally intended, the owner may incur substantial losses. Consumer coupon fraud is a big concern that needs to be dealt with but along with consumer fraud is retail fraud. Retail coupon fraud occurs when non-legitimate retailers add in coupons that have not actually been received through a consumer's purchase. One way additional coupons are obtained is through fraudulent duplication of the original coupons. The counterfeit coupons are sent in with the actual consumer coupons to the manufacturer for redemption. Any business, from a private restaurant to a large company, could loose a substantial amount from fraudulent coupons.

  Membership Cards & Security Badges

The forgery of membership cards, passes, and security badges allows unauthorized use and entrance into controlled environments. This type of forgery not only results in dollar loss, but can also result in the loss of security in protected areas.

Legal Documents

The authenticity of legal documents can be tampered with when the proper security features are not used to help protect the document. Documents can be counterfeited or the content, value, or ownership may be altered by forgery of the documents. The tampering with legal documents could cause incorrect distribution of properties where individuals are awarded ownership or given monies that are not rightfully theirs. Information could be altered so that rights and privileges are awarded to the wrong individual, for example, if the name of a person appointed power of attorney was changed to a different individuals name.

The examples above give you an idea of the documents that have security issues related to them. Forgery of negotiable or confidential documents can cause major problems for a company or an individual. The pages in Security Features provide information on different security options. Some of them are overt (visible) features and some are covert (invisible) features. A mixture of overt and covert features can be used to help protect your documents.


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