Scientists help police bust forgers

Forging wills and bank cheques could now be near impossible thanks to a team of physicists in Rome (Italy). Writing in the latest issue of the Institute of Physics journal, Journal of Optics A, the scientists announce a new technique that can detect forged handwriting better than ever before.

Professor Giuseppe Schirripa Spagnolo, Carla Simonetti and Lorenzo Cozzella from the Università degli Studi “Roma Tre” in Rome, Italy, have devised a forgery detection method that creates a 3D hologram of a piece of handwriting and analyses tiny variations and bumps along its path using two common scientific techniques: virtual reality and image processing.

Until now, detecting forged signatures or handwriting has generally been done by experts who analyse the sequence of individual “strokes” in a piece of handwriting using normal, 2D samples. However, a good forgery can go undetected at the 2D level because it isn’t always easy to determine the exact sequence of strokes.

Schirripa Spagnolo’s team create 3D holograms of the path of a piece of writing, generating an image on a computer that looks like a ditch or furrow. This makes it easy to analyse variations or “bumps” generated by the writer’s pressure on the paper at cross over points, for example the mid-point of the figure eight.

The most common technique used by forgers is tracing, although in real life no two signatures are ever identical. A more sophisticated method is known as the “Freehand Technique” and here the forger copies the general style and characteristics of the handwriting they are trying to copy. However, in both cases it is almost impossible for the forger to reproduce the exact variation of pressure used by the original writer.

Professor Schirripa Spagnolo said: “Using image processing and virtual reality makes it easy to detect the presence of bumps at cross-over points. Finding these bumps allows experts to easily determine the sequence of strokes in a piece of handwriting and the tell tale signs of a forgery or original. Another benefit of this technique is that it doesn’t damage the sample.”

The Rome team used their technique, known as “3D Micro-Profilometry” to analyse hundreds of different handwriting samples made using a variety of different paper types and pens. They have also applied their technique to wills and cheques and successfully detected forgeries in both.

Professor Schirripa Spagnolo said: “We believe this type of 3D micro-profilometry is one of the most promising ways of detecting forged handwriting, and it will be a powerful tool for forensic experts around the world.”

Media Contact

David Reid alfa

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Information Technology

Here you can find a summary of innovations in the fields of information and data processing and up-to-date developments on IT equipment and hardware.

This area covers topics such as IT services, IT architectures, IT management and telecommunications.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

How Stable is the Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Scientists from Heidelberg University investigate which factors determine the stability of ice masses in East Antarctica. As temperatures rise due to climate change, the melting of polar ice sheets is…

Smart sensors for future fast charging batteries

European project “Spartacus” launched Faster charging, longer stability of performance not only for electric vehicles but also for smartphones and other battery powered products. What still sounds like science fiction…

Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics

Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance to the antibiotics that are most…

Partners

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close