In this article from Dadista, while answering the question of what are the penalties for check forgery, we take a detailed and technical look at the issue of check forgery and examine this violation from various aspects. We will also see how to identify a fake check and not fall into the trap of fraudsters.
What is the crime of check forgery?
Regarding the definition of the crime of check forgery, it is good to know that currently the law has not clearly stated what the examples of the crime of check forgery are; But “since forgery means making a transformation or change in documents; «Any change and manipulation of the information contained in the check without the knowledge of the other party and with the intention of harming him, includes the penalty of check forgery and is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted.»
This manipulation can be related to check digits. Or that the check issuer’s information is not true. Also, if the information that makes a check sheet legal and valid is manipulated, that check will be fake.
Including forging the account owner’s signature, which is one of the most common types of fraud using checks. If you encounter this incident, immediately contact a forgery lawyer and ask him for help.
Methods of preventing the crime of check forgery
Although banks are trying to reduce the number of check forgery crimes by introducing encrypted checks; However, there are still those who commit fraud by manipulating the check.
For this reason, it is better to familiarize yourself with the methods of preventing check forgery before getting caught in the trap of fake checks and its legal follow-up problems. Here we review these methods:
In designing your signature, try to make your signature neither too simple nor too complicated. It is obvious that forging simple signatures is easy and does not cause any trouble for professional forgers. On the other hand, complex signatures may also face problems in the process of recognizing the authenticity of the signature by the bank, and the bank employee may make a mistake.
In addition, in many cases, due to lack of time and hurry, complex signatures are made with less accuracy, which can provide the basis for forgery. In addition to having an ideal and not so complicated signature, it is better to write your name and surname in your own handwriting under the signature in order to reduce the possibility of forgery.
Use a single color pen
Try to write all the information in the check using a single font. To reduce the chances of check forgery, use simple ink pens and strictly avoid using pencils.
Keep the checkbook with you
Most people keep their checkbook in a safe place like any other personal document; But sometimes, when you intend to use the check, you may leave it on the table for a moment or in a place that allows criminals to misuse it; Therefore, you should always be aware of the checkbook and do not make it accessible to others.
Because counterfeiters can do their work and harm you even by tearing a leaf from the checkbook.
Write the date and amount in letters
It’s true that most people do, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate. Write the date and the exact amount of the check in both numbers and letters (mentioning the unit of Rials or Tomans or preferably both).
One of the easiest ways to prevent check forgery is to stick a piece of glass tape (colorless) on the amount of the check to minimize the possibility of changing and manipulating the numbers.
Do not write on the carrier’s account
Cashier’s checks are one of the favorite baits for check forgers. Of course, according to the new check law, in December 2019, it is no longer possible to issue a check in the bearer’s account, and it must be issued in the account of a certain real or legal person.
Do not sign a blank check
A signature blank check is a dream opportunity for check forgers. So it is better not to give them this opportunity and not even to your friends and relatives to sign a blank check. Because there is always a possibility that even your trusted people will lose the blank check you have given them.
Close your posts
After writing the check information, draw a continuous line in front of all the relevant fields so that no one can add anything to your writing.
When signing a check sheet, do not press the pen in such a way that the effect of the movement of the pen is hacked on the lower sheets of the check book.
Methods of detecting fake checks
Apart from forging the signature of the account holder, another way of fraud is to use fake check sheets. Fortunately, with the introduction of fisher’s checks, it has become more difficult for criminals to forge check sheets. However, to avoid being caught in the trap of a fake check, refuse to accept other checks by knowing the characteristics of the original check sheet.
Note that the check of all banks has these common features, and here, for example, we have used the images of the Tejarat Bank check sheet:
1- The first sign of an original fisher’s check that you should look for is the name of the desired bank on the indicated part in the image below:
2- The next feature is the bank’s logo, which is printed in negative form in the center of the check and can be seen in ultraviolet light.
3- The Chakavak logo must be present in this section, like the check text in purple:
4- The serial number of the check sheet is located in this section. This part is black on the check, red on the back of the check and green in the ultraviolet light.
5- In this section, there is a 16-digit code that is different for each bank.
6- In the narrow column that can be seen in the picture, the name of the bank and the serial number of the check.
7- On the back of the page, holding the page to the light, you will see that the special logo of the Iranian government printing house is visible in the specified area.
8- You can see the name of the bank and the serial number of the check in the following sections.
Methods of detecting a fake signature on a check
It is not easy for a common person to detect the forgery of the account holder’s signature on the check sheet. For this reason, there is a specialized expert in the judicial authorities to check signature forgery. First of all, we must say that signature forgery is not considered a crime in itself and cannot be pursued as long as it does not cause losses to the owner of the signature; However, if the person who owns the signature files a complaint to the court and claims that he has been defrauded due to signature forgery, the signature forgery expert will use the following methods to prove that the signature is fake:
Detection of fake signature by comparative method
The first step in proving signature forgery is to compare the forged signature with the signature of the plaintiff in the case. In this method, the expert meticulously and obsessively compares all the details of the signature, including punctuation, type of line breaks, type of automatic composite movement, etc., to see if there is a clear difference or not.
Fake signature detection by physical method
In this method, the expert examines the execution of the signature in terms of hand movement. The type of pressure on the pen and even the way the hand is placed on the paper are enough evidences to prove a fake signature.
Detection of fake signature by laboratory method
If the above two methods do not work, they use the laboratory method (chemical method). In this method, due to its extremely high accuracy, the possibility of not detecting a fake signature is very low. In this method, the details of the signature are observed and checked using light rays.
If you are also a victim of signature forgery on a check, or if you are dealing with legal claims related to forgery of signatures and documents in any way, no one can help you like a professional criminal lawyer. Dadista Legal Group is ready to provide advice and follow up on your legal claims by using a large and capable team of experienced lawyers in various fields. At Dadista Law Institute, you will be shown the best legal path to pursue the case. Also, you will be aware of all the details of the case during its legal procedures.
Punishment for check forgery
The forgery penalty law is determined according to the type of check and the method of forgery. Currently, the law on the punishment of check forgery includes the following three cases:
According to article 536 of the Penal Law, forging unofficial documents and writings and knowingly using them, in addition to compensating for damages, will be sentenced to imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years or 3 to 12 million Rials fine, which according to the Law on Reduction of Penalty Punishments approved in April 2019, this item is subject to discount.
Punishment for forging a signature blank check according to Article 673 of the Islamic Penal Code, the perpetrators will be sentenced to imprisonment from 1 to 3 years.
According to Article 674 of the Islamic Penal Code, the accused will be sentenced to imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years.
Punishment for forging a check signature
The crime of forging a check signature is punishable according to the crime of document forgery in Article 536 of the Islamic Penal Code. This legal article states that:
Anyone who falsifies or falsifies unofficial documents or writings or uses them with knowledge of falsification or falsification, in addition to compensating for the damage, imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years or a fine of 3 to 12 million Rials. will be.
Therefore, the punishment for check forgery through signature forgery can lead to imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years in addition to compensation.