Forgery happens when a con artist makes, imitates or adapts objects, documents or statistics with the direct intention of deceiving others. This is not to be confused with a copy, reproduction or studio replica, which are not inherently forgeries, but could become forgeries later if they are intentionally sold as originals. A forgery, created to make people think it is real, is not to be confused with a fake, which is the real thing, but it has been altered in some manner to fool people into thinking nothing has been done to it.
There are a number of categories of forgery that are common: counterfeiting (money, currency), consumer goods (shoes, handbags, luggage, etc.), label misrepresentation, trademark doctoring, and false documents. In other words, a forgery is a produced or altered object and the focus is not on the object itself, but on its worth, hence the reason why forgery is linked to fraud. It is also common to find fraud and forgery used in identify theft.
One of the first examples of the use of forgeries occurred when people tried to imitate the artist Albrecht Durer. They made prints and signed them “AD,” thus creating a forgery. Art forgery in the 20th century is quite common, and typically involves high profile artists such as Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso.