Signatures serve as means of identification and are typically used in the course of business to authorise financial transactions or even establish the legality of important documents. Sometimes, the addition of a signature can increase the value of an item, such is the case of celebrity memorabilia. As such, the high value items attached to such signatures make them likely targets of forgery as compared to handwriting.
Signature verification may be applied to cases involving alleged fraud, forgery and cheating, insurance claims, authentication of wills, etc. The authenticity of signatures on business documents such as contracts or agreements often forms the point of contention between two parties in a civil dispute. In such cases, a forensic handwriting expert will compare the signatures on the questioned documents with specimens to determine if the said person could have signed those documents.