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Electronic signatures on guarantees = High Risk for Fraud & Dishonesty

By Rhett Kipps and Karl Hill* 

As electronic communications and electronic signatures become more prevalent in modern electronic commerce, there is an increased risk of fraud and dishonesty.

Trade credit businesses place considerable reliance upon signatures which appear on terms and conditions of trade and, perhaps more importantly, personal guarantees.

This is risky because the signature may have been forged and/or placed on the document by an unauthorised person. Conversely, it is open for an unscrupulous person to later claim that the signature was not applied by them or by someone else without their authority. 

If it cannot be established that the signature was applied by the intended guarantor, or with their authority, the guarantee is likely to be unenforceable...

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