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Is it possible to fake and backdate an email I have been presented

Customer Question

Is it possible to fake and backdate an email? I have been presented with a photocopy of an email by the purported sender that shows it was sent to my son back in July. I suspect strongly that it is cut and pasted from Word and shown with the date in question. I could ask the sender simply to forward the email from his sent items box but suspect he will say that it has now been deleted. Do emails have 'statistics' or 'history' files that I could ask him to provide from his server company? Do you have any other suggestions that would help me expose the email as a fake?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer!

 

A paper-printed or photo copy of an e-mail is just that: a piece of paper with ink on it. It could have been created or altered by any word processing, Adobe, or other graphic arts program. So, yes, absolutely it is possible to fake an e-mail or alter an existing one.

 

As for available back-up information, that can really depend. Not all e-mails are kept by a server company once they are downloaded to a desktop. It isn't possible to get background information on e-mail received at a generic address such as hotmail or gmail or yahoo, etc.

 

It really isn't your burden to prove the e-mail as fake. It's just a copy. It's the other person's job to prove that the e-mail is real, authentic.

 

Good luck and best wishes for better days ahead. I hope that you find this information to be helpful and this answer to be ACCEPTable!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your swift response. With regard to your comment :-

 

"It really isn't your burden to prove the e-mail as fake. It's just a copy. It's the other person's job to prove that the e-mail is real, authentic."

 

Can you confirm that what yousay is the position in UK law?

Expert:  DR Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

Sorry you have been waiting so long.

The question was posted in the wrong category. The other lawyer was a US lawyer and she has agreed as I am a lawyer based in England. In addition to the the ways in which an email can be fake as set out above it is also possible in outlook to click edit then edit message, retype the text and the print it out as if that was the email that was sent/received. In this country if the sender wants to rely on an email they will need to prove it was sent. You can allege that it was faked and if necessary should seek disclosure of the soft copy with a view to checking its meta data. you could appoint an IT expert to prepare an expert report on its authenticity.

 

I will be away for the rest of the evening but if you need further help post back and I will answer tomorrow.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. What is the 'soft copy' and what is 'meta data' and how can it be checked? Can a soft copy be obtained by a request for the mail itself to be forwarded to me?
Expert:  DR Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

A soft copy of an emailm is the original email file as opposed to a hard copy which is a printed version which you presumably have. The meta data is the information about the file. If you take any file on your computer, right click on it and click properties you can view the meta data. Its like the file's DNA or fingerprint.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, if you click on an email properties for this information you see 'Created : Not available'.

Do you have any further suggestions?

Expert:  DR Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

I am a lawyer although I have dealt with disputes involving IT issues. I am not an IT expert. I suggest you arrange to get this email inspected by an IT expect and get them to prepare a report that complies with Civil Procedure Rule Part 35 see http://www.justice.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/index.htm.

 

If I have been of assistance please kindly click accept.

DR Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 2319
Experience: BA (Hons) Pgdl Pgdlp (LPC)
DR Lawyer and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice.

 

Merry Christmas!

Expert:  DR Lawyer replied 4 years ago.

No problem, its what we are here for. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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