How To Identify Counterfeit Money

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One of history’s oldest crimes is counterfeiting money, and it is the problem continues to grow: for example, the US Secret Service removed move than $182 million in fake currency from circulation in 2009. Business owners, private citizens who are selling anything, and therefore the public are often scammed with counterfeit bills due to increasingly sophisticated printers. As a result, almost anyone can fall prey to counterfeit bills and either lose money or be in legal trouble because passing fake money is against the law in many countries. But by examining and comparing bills or using devices that detect fakes, you’ll identify counterfeit money.

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Examining and Comparing Bills

Learn about currency printing. If you would like to look at or compare bills you receive for counterfeits, it is a good idea to possess a touch of knowledge about how currency is printed. From the very fact that style and material can change over time, taking a couple of minutes to find out about currency could prevent money or maybe legal hassles.

Recognize that watching the safety features of a bill, like watermarks or raised areas, is typically enough to detect fakes without the help of a tool.
Remember that the majority countries or regions, like the ecu Union, have series of bills in circulation issued after specific dates. Notes are often taken out of circulation as counterfeiting gets more sophisticated, but also because the typical lifetime of notes varies.
Inspect resources like the US Currency Education Program (CEP) or the ecu financial institution to find out more about the planning, status, and life cycle of bills, also as how you’ll spot fakes.

Color-shifting Ink

One of the primary things to ascertain to see if a bill is authentic is that if the bill denomination on rock bottom right-hand corner has color-shifting ink. Going back to 1996, all bills of $5 or more have this security feature. If you hold a replacement series bill (except for the new $5 bill) and tilt it back and forth, you’ll see that the numeral within the lower right-hand corner shifts from green to black or from gold to green.


The watermark may be a characteristic security feature of authentic banknotes. Many of the new bills use a watermark that’s actually a reproduction of the face on the bill. On other banknotes, it’s just an oval spot. Here are some things to stay in mind when watching a bill’s watermark:
• The watermark should only be visible once you hold the bill up to the sunshine.
• The watermark should get on the proper side of the bill.
• If the watermark may be a face, it should exactly match the face on the bill. Sometimes counterfeits bleach lower bills and reprint them with higher values, during which case the face wouldn’t match the watermark.
• If there’s no watermark or the watermark is visible without being delayed to the sunshine, the bill is presumably a counterfeit.

Scan notes under UV-light

Most notes in circulation have features, like watermarks or security threads, that are visible when viewed under ultraviolet. If you’re employed with large sums of money or like better to not mark bills, consider getting a UV-light to scan for counterfeit notes.

  • Choose a model appropriate to your needs. You’ll want to think about self-feed scanners or hand-held UV-lights that illuminate security measures. You’ll buy UV scanners at many large retailers and office supply stores.

Attend your local bank

If you’re truly unsure if a note is authentic after watching it or scanning it, take it to your local bank. Most banks have personnel and devices which will see if the notes are counterfeit.

  • Inform the director that you simply are concerned the money you received is counterfeit, but aren’t sure the way to tell. Ask if the branch can verify the cash, then follow any suggestions the staff has if they discover fake notes.
  • Remember to be kind and supply any information you’ll about the origin of the notes.
How To Identify Counterfeit Money

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