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November 15, 2016

How to spot fake ID at a notarization

Most Notaries study Notary law. But, do we keep handbooks that are up to date about spotting fake ID’s? Perhaps we should . Our primary task as a Notary is not to make people feel good, and is not to get the job done either. It is to identify signers and make sure that fraud doesn’t take place. It is better to say “no” rather than to get a Notary job done wrong — hence the name “no”–tary. Otherwise we would be yestaries and the world would go down the tubes.

ID Handbooks
The NNA and other vendors have books going over every state’s identification documents. They can tell you about distinguishing features, new watermarks, and other telltale signs that the ID is genuine.

Jeremy’s Solution — an online ID database
Personally, I think there should be a computer system to let the Notary look you up on a Federal or state database — but, that’s just me.

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Things to look for one the ID

(1) Physical Description
Sometimes the physical description doesn’t match the signer. With ladies changing their hairstyle frequently, it is hard to tell their identity.

(2) Mispellings
Then, there could be misspellings in the name or a wrong name variation.

(3) Tampering
Obvious signs of tampering are almost a guarantee of a fake ID. I saw one of those once and only once.

(4) Watermarks
Finally watermarks are used in identification documents and currency to prove authenticity. It is possible, but hard for a fraud to replicate an authentic watermark. In China I’m sure they’ll figure it out as faking things is their specialty. But, for the rest of us it would not be so easy.

(5) Lack of raised lettering
Many of the newer ID’s have raised lettering. However, without a guidebook, you won’t know which states and which identification years of issue have raised letters.

(6) What’s your sign?
Ask the signer their sign. If they are using a fake ID with wrong DOB it will be very difficult for them to immediately recite their sign. You can also ask for their zip code to spot a fraud.

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Most Notaries do not inspect ID’s carefully. They just record the information in their journal. Unless something fake is jumping out at them, they will not notice that something is wrong. It pays to get a handbook and become and expert. After all, the whole point of being a Notary is to deter fraud. In my opinion, each state’s Notary division should require all Notaries to be experts at spotting fake ID’s in addition to other critical related skills. Maybe one day technology and training will improve.

Smokey bear says — say no to forest fires. Notary Jer says — say no to fake notary identifications — if you can spot them.

You might also like:

Seven error free ways to identify a signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15288

Notarized document expired identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8294

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March 2, 2014

Analytics for TECHNICAL posts… graded!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 11:25 pm

The (A) list:
ID, POA, APPS, SUED, JOBS, TUTORIALS, INTERVIEWS, BEST PRACTICES, POINT & SIGN, OUT OF BIZ, FREE, DIFFERENT DAY, LATE DOCS, PAYMENT, WILLS
CALL: Don’t CALL the Title co, or borrowers
ACCEPTING certifications
PAID: Getting PAID usual or unusual ways.
QUALIFICATIONS (background check & CSS)
JOBS: More jobs, less jobs, taking jobs away, taking bigger cut of money from jobs.

The (B) list:
Consumer financial protection, Loom them up, Stay here until PAID, why use middle INITIAL, Boss PAYS for COMMISSION, Industry STANDARDS, BEGINNERS, what makes a mobile notary, I-9, won’t sign disclosure, following directions, more specific tutorials, JAIL.

TUTORIAL on documents idea.
DOCUMENTS: Late, don’t call until ready, document dates, foreign language docs, witnessing docs, common mistakes w/particular docs, which docs recorded.

=====================================
1003 trouble (F)
1099 too high (C)
ACCEPT certifications (A)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT (D) optional ack cert.
APOSTILLE nightmare (D)
ATTENTION paying (D)
ATTITUDE > JOBS (C)
ATTORNEY GENERAL (F) UR not an attorney (F)
APR (C) to non-borrowing spouse.
BACKGROUND Screening (A)
BAG; carry all (F)
BAR: GA association (F)
BEGINNERS info (B)
Birth Certificate (A)
BLOG she learned more (F)
BOOKS top 5 (F)
BORROWERS at ease (C)
BOSS pays for comm. (B)
BUSINESS NAMES (D+) Biz names (C-) Choosing a name (D+) Grow biz first then register (D-)
CALL (A) don’t call title co;
CERTIFICATION or skill (D); Uncertified not a single all (D) If not certified (D) Just do it (D) Obamacare (F); not cert (F)
CLOSING bank branch (A)
CONTRACT (F)
CREDIT CARD afraid (F)
CROSS-OUT happy (C); story about cross-outs (C); Cross out and initial (F)
CREDIBLE witness (D) what is (F); Charge for (F);
CRIMINALS (B)
DIRECTIONS following (B)
DATES (B) doc, sig, notarization date
DOCS ready (A)
DOCUMENTS ready (A)
DUE: getting what is (A)
E&O (D); Supersize (D)
EATING on road (C)
EMBOSSERS (F)
EXPERIENCE gain (C)
ELITE: does it help? (C) Elite certification (F)
EXPLAIN (C)
ERROR-FREE (C)
FINGERPRINTING (D) difficult
FREE 3rd signing (F)
GETTING more work (A) 3jobs/day
eNOTARY overall score (D) ; which states (A); pros/cons (D); state specific (F); what can enotary do (F); 10yrs garbage (D); AZ (F);
eJOURNAL (B)
ETIQUETTE borrower (D) thanks, sorry (D)
FAMILY (C) Making family leave the room.
FEAR, anger (F)
FIND 24 hour notary (D)
FINES & PENALTIES (C)
FOREIGN lang doc (B)
FREE certification (A)
FUZZY (F)
GUNS borrowers w/ (F)
HIRE other notaries (C)
HOLD HARMLESS (C)
HOSPITAL signings (D)
HUD (C)
IDENTIFICATION (bad) (A)
INTERVIEW (A)
HOURS (F) of operation
IDENTIFICATION (D) 2nd ID requirement
INCOME: (C) Notaries who make more than Attorneys
I-9 Notarizing (B)
iCLOSE (F)
INITIAL middle overall (C); Why use middle initial (B) wouldn’t use middle initial (D)
INSURANCE (F)
INTERVIEW / advice (B) interview w/title (C) Title source (B); timios (A) Advice from AZ; Veteran Notary inteview (C)
JAIL overall (D); Pay at (F); Hubby in jail (B) Notarization at (D) Jail one phone call (F)
JOBS (A)
JOURNALS (D)
LATE docs (A)
LOOK them up (A)
LOWBALLERS (B)
MINIMUM competency (D)
MINORS overall (C); Minors rules (B) Notarizing a minor (D)
MISTAKES w/ Title (C); common mistakes (C) I also make (D) When you goof (D) types of (F)
MOBILE NOTARY (B) what makes?;
MOBILE OFFICE (D) warrantee
MORTGAGE borker (F) sniffing out the right notaries.
NNA (D) NNA-care (F)
NOTARIZED overall (D); w/o sig (C); Notarize 2x (D); Notarized statement (D) How to get (F)
NOTARIES (F) Industrial strength (F) unleaded (F)
NOTES (D) factual or personal? (D); Represent (F)
NOVICE (D)
OBSTACLES creating (C)
OATH (F) of two 2 witneses
OVERSEAS (D)
OUT OF BIZ bank br. (A)
OWL icon (D)
PAGE every page? (C)
PASSPORT (C) Notarizing passport (F) How to notarize copy of passport (A)
PAYMENT responsibility (C) getting what is due (A); Stay until paid (B); How to get paid (D) Fees at door (F)
PERJURY arm twisting (D) Perjury vs. Oaths (D)
PAY: does xyz pay? (F)
PHONE overall (C) ; Who answers? (A); Why answer (D); Phone interaction tutorial (D); Call back can’t talk (D)
PHONE #’s (F)
POA / Nursing home (A)
POINT & SIGN (A)
POLICE enotarization (D)
PREPAYMENT penalty (D)
PROTECTION (A) Consumer Financial protection bureau.
RAMBLE (D)
REAL ESTATE exp. (D) RE prices (F)
RECORDED which docs (D)
RESOLUTIONS (F)
ROCKET SCIENCE (F)
REVIEWS technique (F); signing co. reviews = payment (D+)
SIGN overall (B); Sign on different day (A); Sign disclosure (B); Get them to sign (D);
SIGNATURE BY X (F)
SPAM contacts (D)
STANDARDS: industry (B)
STAMP missing F()
STATES bordering (F)
STRANGE funny haha (D)
SUED: biz lic, e&o (A)
TAMPERING stapler (F)
THUMBPRINT overall (B); Thumbprint necessary (A); Asked NOT to thumbprint (C)
TIPS; overall (C) 12 tips (B); tips for notaries (F)
TOOLS for notary (F)
TRANSLATE (F)
TRENCHES for notaries (D)
TROUBLE (D)
TUTORIAL (B) general (A) other (B) too obscure (C)
VAGUE (F)
Webcam Notarization (B)
WILL notarize a (A)
WITNESSES (B) notary witness (B); expert witness horror (B)
WORK getting more (A) 3jobs/week to 3jobs/day; took biz away (A)
UNIQUENESS (D)
WARRANTEE (D) for mobile office
X on search results (D)
X: Signature by X (-) See Signature by X

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October 3, 2012

The Pros and Cons of eNotarizations

The Pros and Cons of eNotarization

As the technological world continues to evolve on a regular basis, more and more industries are looking to go from the paper route to the electronic route, allowing them to save time and money while providing more convenience to their customers.

One such industry that is following the technological advancements is the notary industry, which is looking to utilize eNotarization on a more frequent scale.

For those who are not up to speed on exactly what an eNotary does, they are quite simply a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. One of the means to do this is through utilizing a digital signature and notary seal to notarize electronic documents and validate with a digital certificate.

With electronic notarization, a notary puts an electronic signature and notary seal in place using a secure public key to an electronic document (such examples would be a PDF or Word document). When the signature and seal are affixed, the piece is looked upon as being tamper evident, meaning that any unauthorized attempts to alter the document would be noticeable to relying parties.

eNotarization Focuses in on Security

In taking a look at the short history of electronic notarization, the National Notary Association (NNA) saw the need to put rules and standards in place for a workable, accessible, and, most importantly, secure system of electronic notarization.

As a result, the NNA came up with Enjoa (the Electronic Notary Journal of Official Acts), which allows both electronic and paper-based notary acts to be recorded—and that record should be free from tampering in an electronic database.

With Enjoa, notaries can electronically gather both a holographic signature and a fingerprint of each document signer, also providing the added choice of capturing within its database the signer’s facial image via a Web camera. Whether it be recording eNotarizations or paper-based transactions, Enjoa offers proof of a signer’s personal
appearance, a detailed database of the notarial act, and a level of security that is not available in a paper-based recordkeeping system.

It was some six years ago that the NNA partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in unveiling the nation’s initial Electronic Notarization Initiative, a comprehensive eNotarization program. All Pennsylvania notaries participating in the initiative utilized a digital certificate to perform electronic acts that were subsequently
made available for recording in the four original participating counties. Other counties throughout Pennsylvania were quick to enroll in the program.

So, what can be seen as some of the pros and cons of eNotarization?

On the plus side:

* Electronic versatility offers benefits for both the notary involved and the business and legal communities. One of the more notable benefits is the time in which documents can now be notarized via a computer. Such documents include power of attorney paperwork, affidavits, deeds, title loans, wills, and prenuptial agreements, among
others.

* eNotarization makes it easy for the notary to adapt to changes in the document in just
minutes.

* eNotarization allows notaries to stay on top of cutting-edge technology, meaning they can compete with others in their business who are also using this manner to notarize documents. For those who choose not to, it could mean losing potential or current customers who opt for the more technologically advanced means to notarize paperwork.

On the negative side:

* eNotarization is not available everywhere, meaning you may or may not have it as an option where you live.

* Some worry that security could be compromised when using eNotarization. If that happens, the notary could lose business from customers who fear their private information leaking out. Whether with traditional notary usage or eNotarization, both the notary and customer should make sure private data is as protected as possible.

* eNotarization is still evolving, meaning some parts of the process are not entirely up to speed. As the process evolves more, eNotarization will become commonplace for both notaries and customers.

With more and more processes going the electronic route, is eNotarization in your plans?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73736449@N02/6649009139/

About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from office cubicles to starting a small business. http://www.arnoldsofficefurniture.com/

You might also like:

What can an e-notary do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2706

Which states allow e-notarizations?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2528

12 points on e-notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

e-signings vs. e-notarization: e-notarization definition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=217

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November 18, 2011

Notarizing multi-page documents

Issues with Notarizing Multipage Documents / Documents with multiple pages
 
Most notaries can barely function doing the simplest of simple notary jobs.  When confronted with anything harder than doing a simple Acknowledgment or Jurat signing where the signer has acceptable identification and can easily sign — will throw most notaries off guard. There are many situations where you need credible witnesses, subscribing witnesses, have a power of attorney signing, attorney in fact signing, or other issue which can become a snag to many notaries.  Multi-page documents (documents with multiple pages) seem easy to notarize, but are they really? There are issues, but is the notary you erroneously hired aware of these issues?
 
Page swapping after the fact
Most notaries think they are there to notarize signatures on documents, and that is it.  The bigger function of a notary is fraud deterance, and to identify the signer.  If a notary does the minimum of what their job description requires, they might be acting within the law, but are they really being helpful to their clients, or to society as a whole?  If a notary notarizes a ten page document or multiple page document, and the document custodian (whomever is in charge of the document after it is signed) decides that page four needs to be edited, then what? 
 
In some circumstances a corrupted signer or document custodian will substitute page four with a newly written page four.  He/she/they will unstaple the document, hopefully as cleanly as possible, remove page four, and add another very similar looking page four, and hope nobody notices.  If there are two signers to the document and both have a copy, then there is evidence of tampering, but what if you don’t have copies, or you lost your copies.  There is no way to prove that the document was tampered with other than the faulty looking stapling job which would make any judge say, “hmmmm” and raise his eyebrows (judges often have bushy eyebrows by the way).  
 
Should you have the notary come back?
One signer asked me to kindly give them a new notary certificate for the new page they were adding to an already notarized document. I told them that documents are notarized as a whole and that if you change even one word, that the whole thing needs to be re-notarized.  They didn’t like that since they had already paid a travel fee. I made them redraw the signature page too, since I wanted fresh signatures which reflected the fact that they were signing in agreement to the whole document.  All of my prudent behavior aroused tremendous resistance, “oh come on’s”, and other complaining. The law is the law.  If you want to screw around, you shouldn’t be hiring a notary in the first place, right?  So, I made them start all over again with a complete redraw despite their complaining, and we notarized everything, and it was kosher.
 
Safeguards against fraud
In the case of multipage documents, the most effective way to safeguard against fraud (page-switching) is to emboss all pages of every document notarize.  If someone protests your embossing, tell them that you don’t have TIME to go to court after they do something fraudulent with their document, therefor, you take precautions against any tampering by embossing every page.  It is hard to forge an embosser, and hard to use it in the same way a notary uses it.  It might be easy to spot a false notarization which is important to get you out of court fast.  Imagine how many hundreds you would lose every day you were hijacked by a court case!
 
Initialing changes?
Initialing is a technology that I don’t like much.  If someone adds a new page to a multipage document, the initials “prove” that all signers agree to it, and safeguard against page-switching after the fact.  But, initials lack the same characteristics as a well established signature.  People don’t initial that much, and it is easy to forge them without detection. I think that initialing is better than nothing, but a poor safeguard against fraud.  I feel that if a signer gives a thumbprint on all pages of a document, that is much harder to forge.  I see no harm in signing all pages of a document. That is better than initialing since a signature is usually consistant (more or less) each time you sign.  Initials might not be, and it is yet another mark with it’s own characteristics.
 
Notarizing multiple pages without initials?
Not all multiple page documents require initials.  It is up to the company who drew the documents if they want initials or not. There is no law requiring that documents have initials, but Deeds of Trusts and Mortgages normally have places for the borrowers to initial at the bottom of all pages.
 
Forging initials
It is common for Title companies to forge someone’s initials on Deeds if the signer forgets to initial.  Forged initials on date changes are common as well.  Illegally forging someone’s initials on a name change happens all the time.  It is very hard to know for sure if an initial is forged, but the people who illegally forge signatures, are usually overworked clerks in large companies who have very little time — and they are sloppy how they forge initials. The forged initials don’t look at all like the real ones.  These workers need to know that they might have to go to jail for a crime like forgery, so they should refuse to do it!

You might also like:

Signing agent best practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

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

Fraud and Forgery related to the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Loan signing process and pitfalls
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2780

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