Regulations on Signature Forgery and How to Report the Crime

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Signature forgery is an illegal act that could lead to serious consequences. Not only does it have a major impact on document security and transaction integrity, but a person who forges a signature can be sentenced to 6 years in prison according to Indonesian law.

Particularly in digital transactions, you certainly don’t want something like this to happen. Therefore, a good understanding of signature faking is a wise step to avoid this detrimental event. In this article, we will discuss more about the law of signature falsification as well as how to report if the case occurs.


Before delving further into the laws of signature forgery, let us understand the definition of the crime itself.

1. What is Signature Falsification?

Signature forgery refers to an illegal act committed by imitating or creating a fake signature without the permission of the signature owner. This can be done on physical or digital documents, such as land deeds, employment contracts, or other important documents.

The crime is generally committed to make a profit or avoid responsibility. The misuse of forged signatures is most commonly found in financial transactions and official documents.

2. Types

The various forms of signature forgery can be done in various ways, one of the most common is by drawing or rewriting. Not only that, this form of forgery can also be done using digital devices, such as scanning the original signature and then editing it by subtracting or adding certain elements.

Read also: 3 Ways to Check the Validity of Electronic Signatures

Legal Force of Signatures

how digital signatures work

As the name implies, a signature refers to a name written distinctively with the person’s hand. It serves as a personal marker commonly used to approve documents as proof of authenticity. This signature can show a person’s identity as the validity of a document.

The signature form surprisingly does not have to contain a name. There are also special stamp-shaped signatures in some countries. Even so, the legal power of both types of signatures is considered the same.

The following is the legal force of a signature.

1. Identity and Intention

A signature is not just a symbol, but a statement of the signatory’s intention. By putting their signature in wet ink on paper, they are stating their intention and will for the writing to be recognized as their own in a legal context.

2. Agreement and Legality

The main purpose of a signature is to give consent and show the legality of a document. A person indicates their agreement to the contents of a document and grants legal validity to the document by affixing a signature. This agreement and authentication make the signature a key element in upholding legal validity.

Read also: Digital Signatures: Definition, How Does it Work, and Regulations

3. Authority

A signature also reflects your authority and power to perform certain actions or transactions. The signature also indicates that the party signing it has the authority and permission that may be required.

Consequences of Forging Signatures

Signature falsification is an unlawful offense that can harm both the person who forged it and the person whose signature was forged. Therefore, you should understand the legal consequences to avoid this adverse action.

1. Law on Forging Signature

The legal offense of forging a signature should not be taken lightly. This crime has very serious consequences and may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the seriousness of the forgery.

According to the Criminal Code Article 263, anyone who forges or falsifies a document, which may cause harm to another person, or makes it appear as if it is genuine, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six years.

2. Letter Forgery Types

According to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Constitutional Judge Suhartoyo stated that there are several criteria for letter forgery and therefore not all signature forgery can be criminalized. The following are the criteria for letter forgery.

  1. When forging a letter, it must be intended for use or to cause someone to use the letter as if it were genuine and not forged.
  2. The use of the letter may cause harm.
  3. Penalties can be imposed on those who forge or intentionally use forged documents. Meanwhile, they are well aware that the letter used is forged. However, if they are not aware, they will not be punished.
  4. It is considered as using a forged document. For example, giving the document to another person who has an interest in using it further or delivering the document at the place where it is needed.
  5. In using a forged document, it must be proven that the person acted as if the document was genuine and not forged. Likewise, the act can cause harm.

Read also: How to Sign Stamps Based on Stamp Duty Regulations

How to Report the Crime

In this digital era, signature forgery is unfortunately inevitable. So, what should you do if a signature forgery has occurred? This certainly requires extra attention. Here is how to report signature fraud that may have happened.

1. Gather Valid Evidence

The first step in reporting signature forgery is to gather evidence that supports your claim. This can include original documents, copies of forged signatures, or records of related communications. The more complete the evidence, the stronger the case can be.

2. Call Authorities

Report the signature fraud you’ve experienced to law enforcement. You can file a report by including all the evidence you have collected. Describe in detail the chronology of events and include identification information related to the party suspected of committing forgery.

3. Cooperate with Forensics

If needed, working with a signature forensics expert can be a wise move. These experts have the specialized knowledge and skills to analyze signatures and provide any expert testimony that may be needed. Consult with the authorities to determine the involvement of a forensic expert.

4. Consult Legal Experts

Consult legal experts immediately for legal advice on the further steps you should take. Legal experts can advise on actions that can be taken in response to signature forgery, including potential legal proceedings or claims for damages.

5. Consider Mediation

In some cases, mediation can be an alternative to resolving a dispute without having to go to court. You may consider seeking a settlement with the alleged signature forgery suspect with the help of a mediator.

6. Monitor the Legal Process

If the signature falsification case proceeds to the next level of the legal process, you need to understand and monitor the progress of the case. Make sure to have legal advice that can guide you through the court process and provide the necessary legal protection.

Read also: How to Make a Digital Signature (7 Steps)

How to Prevent

It is never too late to prevent potential fraud in signature forgery. Here are some ways in which you can prevent the crime.

1. Signature Comparison Technique

The first step in preventing signature forgery is to use the signature comparison technique. Compare the suspected signature with the individual’s legitimate signature. Pay attention to specific things, such as pen pressure, line direction, and the speed at which the signature is written. If there are noticeable differences, this could indicate forgery.

2. Make Hard-to-Duplicate Signatures

Creating hard-to-duplicate signatures is a sensible move in forgery prevention. Consider using distinctive elements that are hard to duplicate, such as unique strokes or uncommon letter combinations. This uniqueness makes your signature more difficult to forge accurately.

3. Identity Verification

Before accepting or certifying the validity of a signature, be sure to perform a thorough identity verification. This process can involve checking identity documents or confirming directly with the author of the signature. This step can help ensure that the signature comes from an authorized party.

4. Use Digital Signature Services

As modern technology continues to evolve, adopting specialized electronic signature technology can provide an additional level of security. These applications often come with security features such as encryption and double authentication.

Additionally, electronic signatures can be integrated directly with your digital identity, making it more difficult to forge or use without authorization.

Don’t let the document legalization process become an obstacle! With digital signature services that integrate with your document management system, eendigo‘s e-SignHub service can be a reliable option.

Through this e-SignHub service, you can easily sign multiple documents at once, configure digital signature placement based on your business needs, and prevent cases of signature forgery.

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