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View Poll Results: Did you know that one can buy fake receipts?
Yes 11 23.91%
No 33 71.74%
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Ever Heard of Fake Receipts?
Old 06-01-2019, 08:20 AM   #1
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Ever Heard of Fake Receipts?

As part of the plot of a book I'm working on, the prosecution will find a receipt that shows that the defendant was not at the scene of a murder. The prosecutor tries to discredit the receipt, showing that the timing is suspect.

It will turn out that it's a fake receipt (Google "fake receipts").

The prosecutor will not know how easy it is to get fake receipts made. I want to see if that's reasonable or not.

Next, I have to deal with this: The defendant's attorney suspects that it's a fake receipt, but he doesn't speak up. My research suggests that as long as he didn't present the receipt as evidence, he's not required to voice his suspicions.

Aargh, writing a legal thriller is hard!
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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If you can print fake money, you can print fake receipts.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:13 AM   #3
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Easier than ever. I used to see ads for fake restaurant receipts- meant for people who "lost" their real receipts and needed replacements for their expense accounts. In more recent years my employers have required actual credit card receipts but I'm guessing that with a roll of paper and the right printer configuration you could create something that looks like a typical restaurant credit card receipt.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
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Do you get a receipt for the purchase of a fake receipt ?
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
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Not proud of it, but I did dozens of fake paper receipts as part of my job at megacorp in the 1980's, never questioned by Accounting (or the IRS?). Of course it would to be for cash (not CC) to have a chance of working?
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:03 AM   #6
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I watched a guy at a dept of defense office attempt to fake a receipt using an old invoice and clear office tape. It was so skwtchy. I turned him in not for the obvious reason but bc he was so stupid he used my tape on the copy machine by my desk while i was watching for his arts and crafts project. SUCH a dolt. All he had to do was call the vendor for a correct invoice. He waant smart enough to actually steal money. Just lazy and stupid
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:06 AM   #7
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I voted "no", but it doesn't really surprise me that this is something you can buy. I do wonder, though, how they work for people trying to scam a store into getting money back for a purchase they never made. Seems like the receipts from most stores these days have some sort of unique bar code or transaction ID, which identifies your specific transaction in their computer system. Also, wouldn't you need to present the item you're trying to return, which you wouldn't have unless you stole it? Maybe there are more clever scams that utilize fake receipts that I'm not thinking of. (Ahh, I see Midpack mentioned their use in connection with corporate expense reports.)
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:16 AM   #8
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never mind.coffee just started up
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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So let's see...the crime took place at 5:18 a.m., whereas the receipt is printed with a date and time three minutes earlier/later? Then again, this is a T-Al book. Wasn't the criminal using a time machine?

I would say it is a prosecutor's job to know about lots of types of scams that criminals may try to pull. This would not be the world's top, scariest prosecutor.

Last, I'm not sure how having a receipt on your person shows you didn't commit the crime - unless the crime's time is known down to the minute. OTOH I guess this is part of the book that we have to read to find out ;^>
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Based on my very deep background and skill with law (watched hundreds of Law & Order episodes), I would suggest that the cops or the DA would pull the suspect's credit card history. If it was a cash receipt, it's a bit harder, because they'd have to go to the merchant's location and ask to see or subpoena their records. In these days of photoshop, unless it's on letterhead (and even if it seems to be on letterhead), it's trivial to spoof most paper documents. If it's on a roll of paper that has a watermark, that's harder, because you'd have to source the paper. But there's myriad minimum wage workers that would hand you a roll for a $20, I'm sure. As to the bar code or transaction code being wrong, that's not a problem unless the cops or DA takes it to the merchant.



If the defendant's lawyer never voices suspicion about the authenticity to anyone (including his client), and his client doesn't offer any indication the receipt is not legit, I think the lawyer has deniability and is not at risk of breaking the rules. So if the defendant knows and his lawyer suspects the receipt is fake, as long as they don't talk about it, they could go to trial and hope the DA doesn't check. If the DA does check, the defendant's lawyer can say their client didn't share that information, which is true.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:25 AM   #11
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Anyone who has scrutinized tax returns or expense accounts is totally familiar with false receipts. With scanners and the internet, it’s never been easier to get the elements needed, such as logo and document design. Embezzlers working in small businesses, trustees, business managers and POA also see lots of this.

It can be very challenging to prove a receipt is false.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:03 AM   #12
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Yes, I'm not sure this will work. The idea is this:

The murderer, knowing her car might be searched, fills her car with junk including Burger King bags, etc. It's a just-in-case thing. One of the receipts shows her being eight hours away in another town when the murder is committed.

The ADA, sure the defense will bring it up, enters the receipt into evidence, arguing that the timing would work, although barely. Perhaps the time of death is different from what the murderer had planned.

The attorney suspects the receipt is fake, but doesn't have an expert confirm it, because if he KNOWS it's fake it causes ethical problems.

The theme of the book relates to lying. The attorney has a problem with liars, but of course, as an attorney, lying in some form is often required.

But this all depends on the ADA being too stupid to think of fake receipts. But maybe the ruse is so elaborate that it doesn't occur to her. Hmm.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:03 AM   #13
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Not sure I like his plot line-if the receipt can be proven fake, it makes the defendant look very guilty, which would mean he just added something very damning to any evidence against him. On the other hand if the receipt can't be proven fake, it means it can't be verified so it would be flimsy exculpatory evidence. Either way, it seems like a stupid thing for the defendant to do.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:16 AM   #14
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Lots of small shops used essentially an adding machine on top of a money tray back in the early days of daisy wheel printers just before dot matrix printers. I remember seeing and having a program that would print a "replacement receipt" for you. This was before emblems and icons could be printed onto a receipt. Back in the days they printed Snoopy banners with thousands of X's and O's dots and blanks.

I suspect if the receipt was historical and dated and daisy wheeled no one would suspect counterfeit.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yes, I'm not sure this will work. The idea is this:

The murderer, knowing her car might be searched, fills her car with junk including Burger King bags, etc. It's a just-in-case thing. One of the receipts shows her being eight hours away in another town when the murder is committed.

The ADA, sure the defense will bring it up, enters the receipt into evidence, arguing that the timing would work, although barely. Perhaps the time of death is different from what the murderer had planned.

The attorney suspects the receipt is fake, but doesn't have an expert confirm it, because if he KNOWS it's fake it causes ethical problems.

The theme of the book relates to lying. The attorney has a problem with liars, but of course, as an attorney, lying in some form is often required.

But this all depends on the ADA being too stupid to think of fake receipts. But maybe the ruse is so elaborate that it doesn't occur to her. Hmm.
Cash register receipts are subject to state inspection for sales tax and IRS inspection, so it probably has a transaction number or other identifier, and should be easy to verify. It should also be easy to duplicate or forge exactly.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:20 AM   #16
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My research is showing that there are websites that sell fake alibis and references. Out in the open. For example: https://fakereferencefakealibi.com/f...libi-packages/
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:30 AM   #17
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How about this: The receipt is real, but was obtained by someone else. The murderer gets the receipt (paid accomplice), is sure to get her fingerprints on it, and puts it in one of the Burger King bags in her car. The murderer has clear evidence that she was in a hotel just before the receipt was obtained, but the receipt makes it seem that she stayed in that town longer than she actually did.

The prosecution tries but fails to show that it's fake (dueling experts). The store has no camera. The prosecution says that maybe it wasn't her but isn't able to prove that.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
How about this: The receipt is real, but was obtained by someone else. The murderer gets the receipt (paid accomplice), is sure to get her fingerprints on it, and puts it in one of the Burger King bags in her car. The murderer has clear evidence that she was in a hotel just before the receipt was obtained, but the receipt makes it seem that she stayed in that town longer than she actually did.

The prosecution tries but fails to show that it's fake (dueling experts). The store has no camera. The prosecution says that maybe it wasn't her but isn't able to prove that.
If the accomplice has generally similar physical characteristics as the antagonist, such as height, weight, build, even a police interview with the clerk might prove inconclusive.

Even if there was a camera, if it were high enough on the wall and the accomplice wore a cap to hide the face, that might work.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:03 PM   #19
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I misread the topic and voted no to "fake recipes" (why would someone want to do that?).

But though voting prematurely, still correct as I've never heard of fake receipts either. Doesn't surprise me though as I have heard of fake diplomas.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
How about this: The receipt is real, but was obtained by someone else. The murderer gets the receipt (paid accomplice), is sure to get her fingerprints on it, and puts it in one of the Burger King bags in her car. The murderer has clear evidence that she was in a hotel just before the receipt was obtained, but the receipt makes it seem that she stayed in that town longer than she actually did.

The prosecution tries but fails to show that it's fake (dueling experts). The store has no camera. The prosecution says that maybe it wasn't her but isn't able to prove that.
Maybe have the accomplice use the murderer's credit card?
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