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April 8, 2018

An Absurd Forgery of “my” Notarization

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:17 am

An Absurd Forgery of “my” Notarization

I have just been speaking with an insurance company investigator. When the caller identified themselves I took the precaution of verifying the caller via several methods. Once convinced of the caller identity the facts were relayed to me. I then proved the document to be a forgery.

There were several interesting aspects to this particular identity thief. They managed to swindle a car dealership in the Midwest using a notary stamp clearly purporting to represent a New York notary – me. The stamp, to any New York notary appeared false, having both improper information (my address) and lacking required information (the primary county of my registry).

Thus, so far, the stamp is being “used” outside of its lawful jurisdiction and was improperly designed.

Now for the truly strange aspect: The document was a very brief Power of Attorney, ostensibly from the owner giving the Principal the right to receive the vehicle and register it. The seriously weird part was that the “notary” also was the Agent who received the authority.

I don’t know the notary rules where you are reading this, but I would guess that the applicable New York notary laws probably apply where you are reading these words.

To the best of my understanding (and common sense) the notary is not permitted to either be a part of the transaction nor have a financial interest in its outcome.

Strike One: The notary stamp is formulated improperly (of course the general public won’t know)
Strike Two: The notarization is taking place outside of the state indicated.
Strike Three: The forger forged the Principals signature and the Notary signature to make them the Agent at the car dealership and did indeed receive the vehicle.

Not wise in my opinion as the registration leaves footprints and a vehicle license plate to be caught.

So where am I going with this? We, as both active notaries and users of notary services are well aware of the various regulations that are applicable. So, rather than keeping that knowledge to ourselves, I ask the notaries to add “mini lessons” to their clients to educate them about the basics of notary law. The public will easily grasp the concept that a notary stamp that includes the name of a state can only be used within that state. They can also be informed that the notary must be totally “outside” of the transaction, not part of it in any way; especially with any financial or other gain.

Two simple concepts that would take but a moment to explain. As “officers of the court” holding commissions we have a duty to serve the public, not just collect fees from them.

You might also like:

Fraud & Forgery in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Notarizing multi-page documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21423

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February 6, 2012

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession

Fraud and Forgery in the notary business 

There are many types of fraud that a notary might run into in their notarial career, forgery being one of the more common types of fraud. But, let’s take a closer look at what specific types of things could happen.
 
(1) Someone could forge your seal and pretend to be you.  It happened to me.  Unfortunately for them, they didn’t forge my signature very well, and didn’t copy my style of embossing every page either.  Putting technicalities aside, I bet they were not able to forge my quirky sense of humor either.  Notary seal forgery is not common. In my case, I think they used a really good photocopier.  BTW, a photocopier can NOT copy the RAISED impression of an inkless embossed seal which is why I used it on all of my notarizations.
 
(2) Page swapping — the old bait and switch routine.  I got called to notarize many multi-page documents. I put my embossing seal through all of the pages leaving a raised impression on each page.  I usually did these individually. Sometimes it is better to do all pages together so the seal goes through the same location in each page.  However, the seal comes out more clearly if you go page by page.  In any case, if you see a ten page document where all of the pages EXCEPT for page four are embossed, that would raise my eyebrows.  I have had many situations, where the signer wants me to give them another acknowledgment certificate for a new page they are adding to the document. I tell them that I have to notarize their signature ALL OVER AGAIN, and that is the law no matter how many times you say, “Oh, come on”.  With that attitude you might as well notarize your own signature as a non-notary!
 
(3) Title companies have a common practice of initialing for the borrower if the borrower misses an initial. It is “easier” than sending the documents back to the borrower.  Whether it is signature forgery to forge initials is a matter for an attorney to decide, but it seems pretty illegal to me to engage in initial forgery. I don’t think that anyone audits loan documents to see if anyone is engaging in initial forgery, but perhaps they should — many Title companies might get busted or investigated at a minimum.
 
(4) Refusal to be thumbprinted?  You must be up to something if you don’t want your thumbprint recorded. Maybe you have a fake identification card, right?  You can fake an ID, but you can not fake a thumbprint.
 
(5) Signature forgery.  If someone forged a signature on a document, they will have to have a fake ID and forge the same signature on the ID and in your journal. It would be a tough crime to pull off. I think that nobody in their right mind would attempt this.  Normally, people try to do crimes of fraud in private, and wouldn’t be willing to let other parties see what they are doing, no matter what!
 
(6) Notarizing out of state?  If you don’t have a commission in a particular state, you can not notarize there, with a few exceptions. Military notaries have special rules. A Virginia notary public may notarize out of the state of Virginia, but only for documents that are to be recorded within the state of Virginia. In any case, from time to time we will hear rumors that a notary public is operating illegally in a bordering state where they are not commissioned, and people want us to enforce the rule. I tell them to report the individual to the state notary division where the Notary in question is commissioned.
 
(7) Charging more than the state maximum notary fees is illegal, and charging more travel fee than your state allows (roughly eight states have restrictions for travel fees) can get you in trouble too.
 
(8) Filling out an Acknowledgment or Jurat form when you never saw the signer and never had the signer sign your journal is a really serious act of notarial misconduct.  You can lose your commission and get fined or jailed for this.

You might also like:

Backdating from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2424

Notarizing multi-page documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21423

Penalties for notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

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April 17, 2011

Seal Forgery – it happened to me!

Seal Forgery – it happened to me
I notarized a set of loan documents for a company back in 2003. It was a regular signing and nothing went wrong. You know how companies sometimes request that you send them another “Jurat” if the stamp isn’t clear on the initial one? California notary law requires that certificates be attached to the original document for security reasons. This means stapled. But, the loan companies protest whenever you ask them to send you back the document and ask why you are being so difficult. For many signing companies, the idea of obeying laws means you are being difficult. The company that forged my stamp did not ask for a loose Jurat, they were in a hurry and pulled a fast one.

I heard about it from a third party
A third party contacted me asking if I had notarized a loan package for a particular borrower. I couldn’t find the information in my journal for the specified dates, or even for the specified month. We figured that it must be a company that I had worked for before that had an impression of my seal on one of their loan documents, since I didn’t notarize that particular borrower’s loan that was in question. We had to be detectives to figure out what had happened.

Copying my seal
This company copied an impression of my seal that was on someone else’s loan, and copied it onto an Acknowledgment certificate for an entirely different loan that I had never had anything to do with. It was hard to tell since photocopiers are so good. I asked the third party to send me the notarized document and its Acknowledgment certificate. The forging job was so pathetic, it was funny when I saw it. The seal looked legitimate to my eyes, since I couldn’t tell it was copied. However, there were tell tell signs that I had not notarized this document.

(1) I always used an embosser on every page of every document. Embossers leave a raised impression in the paper. This document had no raised seal on it.
(2) The signature was a very girly signature which didn’t match mine even slightly. The lines of the signature were very curly and the i’s were dotted with cute little circles that only a girl would make like that.
(3) The acknowledgment certificate wording didn’t have the he/she/them and (s) verbiage crossed out where appropriate indicating that the person who fudged this job couldn’t have been a notary, or at least was a really pathetic notary.

I told them:
After I saw this pathetic attempt at something which is not even good enough to qualitfy as forgery, I told the third party that I had definately not notarized this and that it was fraud. Additionally, there was no journal entry to back up this job, and I took journal entries for all transactions in all cases.

My advice
If you always use an embosser on all pages of all documents, you deter the switching of pages after the fact on documents you notarized. You make it almost impossible for someone to get away with forging your notarizations. Additionally, you impress your clients with how thorough you are which can gain you more business. An embosser is less than $40, so get one today! Some states will require a government issued authentication of permission to get an embosser, so apply now!

You might also like:

Notarizing a kidnapper

Do you like your job?

Fraud and Forgery related to the notary profession

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March 7, 2020

Compilation of best blog articles from 2011

Filed under: Compilations — admin @ 10:03 am

PRICING

Pricing for notary work: Different strokes for different folks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=697

Pricing formulas and time spent
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=588

Payment terms set by buyer or seller?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1812

TECHNICAL

Notarize just the name.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15817

Decline profitable junkwork
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15495

A tale of four notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Things that get notaries complaints
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=639

What to say and what not to say
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=628

Do you like your job?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

Dragging the person’s arm
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=610

Seal Forgery – it happened to me
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=724

Leave a few spaces open in your journal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=714

Fixing botched signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1246

Notary certificates, notary wording & notary verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

Can a notary get in trouble?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1745

The signing agent loan signing process & pitfalls
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2780

How do I fill in a journal entry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1725

Notarizing multi-page documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1706

Thumbprinting step by step
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1689

STORIES

Notarizing a kidnapper
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=676

The story of 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=710

A few testimonials about 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=700

Notarizing an arsonist who blew his fingers off
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=650

The signing from hell
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=765

Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=925

Notary pushed off stairs by borrower
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1097

COMEDY

Welcome to the Notary Hotel
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8822

You know you’re a notary when…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

Jeremy’s visit to hell
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20412

A tough act to follow
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6579

I have a dream – notary version
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19207

Notarization on the Steve Harvey show
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13704

Notary suicide hotline
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6995

Notary reviews vs. Movie Reviews
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8820

Notary Airport
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17062

My date with Jeremy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4473

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

Vampire Notaries – 24 hour service
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4094

Bartender Notary – a reverse mortgage on the rocks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4080

Best excuses why a signing company didn’t pay a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1922

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February 9, 2020

2012 complication of best posts

Filed under: Compilations — admin @ 9:50 am

Here are some of our best posts from 2012.

TECHNICAL

What is signature by X?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2278

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2243

Backdating from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2424

All you need to know about notary work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2354

Can a notary notarize a birth certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2300

Fraud and forgery in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Do I notarize every page of the document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2280

Notary boiler plate wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2432

Notarization dates, Document dates & Signature dates!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2421

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

Can a notary sign on a different day?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2457

Don’t drop the Fedex in the drop box!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2831

Protecting yourself with a contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

Tips for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3360

STORIES

Borrowers and their filthy homes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2214

Power of Attorney at a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

20 stories about animals at signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3074

5 books every notary should own (and read)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3668

3 notaries walk into a bar
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3660

I make mistakes too
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3639

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January 1, 2020

Robbing the dead — Notary style

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 11:06 pm

Yes, it is a common crime in Philadelphia as I am reading. People falsify deeds, and rob the dead of their property. This requires the use of a Notary or fake Notary or falsified Notary seals.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/house-theft-deeds-fraud-forgery-philadelphia-20190603.html

A new local law requiring photos of ID’s being used seems like a prudent step. Another tell-tale sign is a long gap between the signing of a document and its recording. Notaries are also checked by phone to make sure particular transactions are legitimate. Taking thumbprints of sellers has been proposed in Philadelphia, but not implemented yet. It is hard to forge a thumbprint and that seems like a very sensible fraud deterrent to me. There are other ways to regulate fraud, but those are a few main ones. Read the article for more information.

You might also like:

Can a notary go to jail for notary fraud?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21353

Penalties for notary misconduct, fraud, and failure of duty.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

The curse of the notary mummy
blog.123notary.com/?p=19918

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December 25, 2019

An alleged Notary forges a signature in Hawaii

An alleged Notary forged Puana’s name. Puana, a Hawaii resident and Notary, as relative of the victem named Kealoha was investigated by forensic experts to determine who signed the name. An alleged Alison Lee Wong was determined to have forged the signature, however, it was later found that there is no such person.

A person named Kealoha who was a former deputy prosecutor stated that her mailbox had been stolen, and that was the damage of this forgery case according to the news article that I am linking to below.

https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/2019/06/08/hawaii-news/kealoha-corruption-trial-focuses-on-alleged-fake-notary/

This is a very odd and convoluted story. I hope you enjoy the link and can figure this one out! Aloha!

You might also like:

A forged notary seal ends someone with a prison sentence
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21355

I was forged (Ken’s experience)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13659

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April 26, 2019

5 Benefits Of Notarizing Your Business Documents

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 4:25 am

The government does trust the notary public, so their signature or seal is a valid sign of document reliability. Below are a few reasons why you need to have a notary public present when you are signing your essential business documents:

Your contracts become ‘self-authenticating.’
Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a contract with a notary public’s seal is considered to be self-authenticated; meaning that in the case of a case, the witnesses who signed the documents need not appear in court to verify their signatures. This saves plenty of time, money and acts as a huge convenience in the witnesses favor.

They ensure that your documents are signed under the right circumstances
Technically, the notary public notarizes your signature, not the documents themselves. They are reliable witnesses to the fact that the person whose signature is on the document in question is indeed the one who signed it. They also ensure that the person who signed it was of sound mind and not under any duress. Again, the notary public has to ensure that the witnesses who sign your documents are within the legal right to do so.

Notarization provides clarity
There are many legal documents now that stipulate the way people go about their lives. A Power of attorney is required by a grandchild to make significant, life-altering decisions for their ailing grandparent, or title deeds to transfer ownership of land. With a notary public’s signature, these documents’ validity can be ascertained to avoid grey areas that cause conflicts.

Notaries ensure that the documents in question are adequately executed
All legally binding documents hold the signer to a commitment, and one of the notary public’s duties is to ensure that the signer fully acknowledges the agreements and obligations. For instance, for a will to be valid, it needs to include the signature of the testator, and those of two witnesses, plus a QLD probate process to facilitate execution. Yet, some states will require that a will be notarized for it to be valid. Again, if disputes are litigated, it is crucial to have a notary present. A court considers sworn affidavits as valid if they are notarized.

Protects you from fraud, identity theft, and other kinds of crimes
Having a notary public present during the signing of your documents provides you with the safest possible fallback plan, if not a prevention plan in the case of forgery and other serious white collar crimes. In this age of technology and sophisticated forgery schemes, you cannot go wrong by having your documents notarized. Notarization is now a major risk management tool for all kinds of businesses.

Conclusion:
Many people avoid notarization services because they are an added expense and may take time. However, with e-notarization, you get quick and more convenient services to keep your business documents risk-free.

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January 29, 2019

Can a Notary go to jail for Notary fraud?

Can a Notary go to jail for Notary fraud?
Can a Notary go to prison for Notary fraud?

Notaries very rarely end up in jail. There are many illegal things that Notaries to almost daily. However, the law seems to rarely catch up with them unless a crime is committed where there are damages. Additionally, if the crime was committed with intent to steal, embezzle, or harm someone, the Notary would be in a lot worse trouble.

Notaries typically do not administer Oaths for Jurats. Those that do, typically administer an Oath in my opinion incorrectly. I test Notaries regularly and this is how I know. It is illegal to sign a Jurat that makes you claim that you supervised an Oath when in fact you did not. That might be considered perjury, although I am not an Attorney and cannot say with any certainty. However, Notaries very rarely get in trouble for omissions in their duty.

The only time I have heard of a Notary going to jail was one who assisted in fraud involving real property. The Notary falsified paperwork, probably Deeds of some sort and helped someone steal someone else’s property. That Notary got put away for a long time.

However, Notaries end up in court regularly for things that signers did fraudulently. Some signers alter documents after they were notarized. Other signers committed identity fraud. Once in a while, someone will forge a notary seal and pretend to be a particular Notary. It is common those these acts of fraud to result in a Notary being supoenaed to court or at least being investigated.

So, unless a Notary does something intentionally to cause financial harm to another person, it is unlikely that they will end up in jail — but, then.. who knows…

You might also like:

All mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20995

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21315

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October 2, 2018

Facial recognition techniques can help you spot a fake ID

Filed under: Identification For Being Notarized — Tags: — admin @ 12:43 am

Newer identification cards have easily recognized security features such as raised lettering, microprinting, embedded images or holigraphic images.

However, you can feel the ID for raised lettering which is a sign of forgery. You can also feel the edges of the ID to see if layers have been added. If there is overlapping lettering, laser perforated images, or peeling lamination, you probably have a fake.

According to the blow linked NNA article, Notaries failed to spot a fake ID 28% of the time. According to me, this is why you take journal thumbprints as the thumbprint is definitive proof of identity.

You can analyze the signer’s facial features as hair styles and colors could have changed since the ID was created (or since yesterday.)
Look at the shape of the ears
Check for dimples
Verify the ridges of the eyebrows (and hope they don’t shave their eyebrows.)

In my experience, identifying women is a lot harder than men. I also feel that it would be better to have formal courses for Notaries to spot fake ID’s as the entire point of our career is to positively identify people correctly.

Please visit this NNA link as well.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/08/using-facial-recognition-spot-impostors

.

You might also like:

Scanning bar codes on an ID in Washington State?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19729

Notary Public 101 — Identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19507

Identification requirements for being Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

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