You suspect a document to be... but can you prove it?


Discovering evidence of a document being fraudulent or genuine in the forensic document laboratory doesn’t just rely on the un-aided eye examination of the documents examiner but in most cases requires the use of sophisticated imaging and multi-wavelength instrumentation.

Human vision alone will on occasion allow us to observe certain features of genuineness or signs of fraudulent activity and to reveal detail on the document. Many other times we need the aide of trusted technology to enhance our observation capabilities.

To help examiners, investigators, forensic document laboratories and agencies establish a standard protocol, Foster + Freeman have developed the VSC®8000. This, easy to use instrument has a combination of examination tools to equip the examiner with the necessary capabilities to discern between genuine, fraudulent and counterfeit documents such as banknotes and identity documents.


Among these many tools are: 

Unique to the VSC®8000, SRI (Super Resolution Imaging), an optical system providing excellent clarity and image resolution quality of documents up to A4/Letter size at the highest magnification.

Microspectrophotometer that provides non-destructive spectral analysis of documents which can identify differences in ink and paper formulations.

Integrated XY Stage a motorized XY translation stage allows fast and precise positioning of documents at high magnification.

Multi-Spectral Illumination that using directional, multi-spectral light sources from UV, through the visible spectrum, to IR that can reveal details that are invisible under white light, including semi-covert security features designed to respond at set wavebands.

Hyper-Spectral Imaging, an advanced technique for the discrimination of inks. Incremental images of documents are captured across a broad spectrum. A false color overlay highlights spectral differences.

Document Databases that allow in-house creation of databases for checking questioned documents against the authentic or subscribe to regularly undated Banknote and Security Document databases.

With the VSC®8000 you are not limited to just knowing the questioned document to be….. But now you can easily prove it.






Author: F.L. "Jim" Lee, Jr.

Jim Lee has 30 years experience as an examiner of questioned documents with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Lab (USACIL), State of Florida Lottery and in private practice. He is certified by, and a Diplomate of, the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners and is the current Secretary of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE).





Equipment Used: VSC8000

The VSC®8000 (Video Spectral Comparator) provides a complete solution to the examination of all forms of questioned documents and allows QDE examiners to check for evidence of alteration, decipherment of obliterated entries, differences in ink(s), observation of covert security features to confirm document authenticity, page or photo substitutions or to reveal other evidence of “forgery”.