Having someone forge your signature on some type of document can have serious consequences. For example, the unauthorized signer may gain access to the funds in your bank accounts or make it seem like you agree to unreasonable terms in legal contracts. A forged signature on contract documents can create legal issues since the person has agreed to terms you did not.When you realize that someone has signed your signature, you have to act quickly to minimize the damage and potentially pursue legal action.
Understanding the Concept of Forgery
Creating "a false document, signature, or other imitation of an object of value used with the intention to deceive another into believing it is the real thing" constitutes forgery. Therefore, when someone signs your signature for you either physically or electronically, that person commits an act of forgery, which is a crime. You may choose to bring the matter to court to charge the unauthorized signer with the crime of fraud.
Report Forgery Immediately
As soon as you find out that someone signs your signature for you, you may contact the party that received the document containing the forged signature. This allows the recipient of the document to correct any past actions and stop any future actions authorized by the forged signature. For example, if you have proof that someone else signed for a package mailed to you, then you should report the forgery to the shipping company. If you're dealing with a forged signature on contract documents, reach out to the business offering the contract.
Depending on the recipient, you may have to report the forgery within a certain time period. For example, your bank may require that you provide notification within 60 days of you receiving the account statement that contains the unauthorized transaction. Therefore, it's key to reach out to the appropriate party quickly so that you don't risk going over the time period and also get the issue handled promptly.
Fill Out an Affidavit
You may have to sign a written affidavit of forgery statement to confirm you believe the signature to be forged and you intend to reverse any effects of the forged document. The party that receives the forged document often requires this to release them of any responsibilities if the signature turns out to be real.
For example, a bank may only agree to reimburse your money after you sign an affidavit stating that the signature is forged. You have to sign the affidavit so the document recipient can investigate the matter.
Consider Seeking Legal Counsel
In some cases, you may need legal help to solve the problem. For example, if another party sues you because you do not carry out the terms of a contract signed by an authorized person, you may consult a lawyer or attorney and go to court.
You may also have to obtain the service of a handwriting expert to verify that the signature was indeed forged. If the person forging your signature was acting in his professional capacity, for example if your real estate agent signs a contract to sell your property, you may report him to the industry regulator.