Can You Cheat Your Receipt?
Tiffany Tang, Andrew Ng
Vancouver Technical Secondary
Floor Location : S 214 P

Our project is about thermal paper in the form of receipts. Today, most stores and companies use the plastic-like, shiny material known as thermal paper as their proof of purchase for their customers. In our project, we are testing the effects of heat and light on this type of paper and tested whether or not pin-point applications of these things could be used to alter specific numbers or letters of a receipt in order to make a profit. In this way, we are testing the very possible ways in which one can doctor a document and thereby commit fraud.rnrnWe had two parts to our project: rn1) Testing the effects of heat and light on the receipt papers andrn2) Modifying a receiptrnrnWe used lightbulbs of differing wattage to heat up our receipts and used a fluorescent light table to test the effects of light. We used a Pantone scale to measure the degree of darkness of the receipts after the experiments.rnrnWe found that heat caused the thermal paper to darken but after too long a time with too hot a temperature, the darkness reverted slightly and lightened. The light did not have much effect on our receipts, changing the original colour only slightly.rnrnNext, we used this knowledge to modify receipts. We used an adjustable temperature heated pen (a soldering iron) to make our own receipts and through trial and error, found the perfect temperature to produce a pen thickness and image darkness that matched that of our control receipt from a store. rnrnIn essence, our project is the beginning of what could possibly be a large receipt fraud operation. With the right tools and a few bits of information, such a thing could easily be done and many companies would, in turn, be losing money. Our project is meant as a eye-opener to companies and stores to look into the possibilities of someone altering their receipts and making a profit on the store's behalf. In other words, receipt fraud is possible and should definitely be looked into. Drop by to see our results!