Decline in Cursive Writing Leads to Increase in Forgery Risk?
According to this article, students are no longer learning how to write in cursive. And, if they are learning it, they’re forgetting how. Certainly the ubiquity of keyboards is leading to a decrease in writing by hand. Relevant to this blog, the article claims that this is making signatures easier to forge.
While printing might be legible, the less complex the handwriting, the easier it is to forge, said Heidi H. Harralson, a graphologist in Tucson. Even though handwriting can change — and become sloppier — as a person ages, people who are not learning or practicing it are at a disadvantage, Ms. Harralson said.
“I’m seeing an increase in inconstancy in the handwriting and poor form level — sloppy, semi-legible script that’s inconsistent,” she said.
Most everyone has a cursive signature, but even those are getting harder to identify, Ms. Harralson said.
“Even people that didn’t learn cursive, they usually have some type of cursive form signature, but it’s not written very well,” she said. “It tends to be more abstract, illegible and simplistic. If they’re writing with block letters it’s easier to forge.”
Maybe, but I’m skeptical. Everyone has a scrawl of some sort; mine has been completely illegible for years. But I don’t see document forgery as a big risk; far bigger is the automatic authentication systems that don’t have anything to do with traditional forgery.