Learn How To Identify Counterfeit Money

If you own a business, there are a lot of important reasons why you need to be on the lookout for counterfeit money. For one thing, banks won’t accept counterfeit bills. That means that any counterfeit bills that are accepted by yourself or one of your employees are essentially worthless. Even worse, if you try to deposit counterfeit bills, it could wind up triggering an investigation since using counterfeit money is illegal.

If you do discover a bill that is counterfeit, make a notation on it that includes the date that you received it, your name, and the name of whoever gave you the bill, assuming that you know it. You should then contact the proper authorities to let them know about the bill.

Counterfeit bills are taken out of circulation and held by the Treasury Department to use as evidence when prosecuting cases against counterfeiters. Unfortunately, when you turn over a counterfeit bill, you wind up losing the value of the bill since you aren’t compensated for it. As tempting as it might be, don’t try to spend the bill or give it to another person. Otherwise, you could wind up in legal trouble. Knowingly spending counterfeit money can result in severe penalties, including being incarcerated for up to five years and facing fines of as much as $10,000.

It is important to learn how to spot a counterfeit bill. The way that the money feels when you hold it in your hand is usually one of the most obvious signs that it is fake. Even though you may not be able to pinpoint exactly why, these bills tend to feel different than real money. Official US currency is printed on a special type of paper that has blue and red threads woven throughout it. It also has a very unique look and feel. Sometimes, counterfeiters try to print or draw lines in shades of red or blue to re-create the look of the fibers. With counterfeit bills, however, the surface of the bill is a lot smoother than a regular bill. You may not be able to feel the raised edges of the ink like you can with a genuine bill. Additionally, the color of the ink may be paler than usual since it has a tendency to fade more easily.

The face of the person printed on the bill should have crisp, clean lines that are distinct from one another. If the printing is blurry or if you can’t make out details, it could be a sign that the bill is counterfeit. Additionally, the features of the face may look dull and may lack the life and character of the original art.

The seal on the bill should have sharp points that are spaced out evenly from one another. With counterfeit bills, the points on the seal may be dull, inconsistently sized, or spaced incorrectly. There is also a chance that they could be blurry.

Take a close look at the serial number. You should be able to easily read the characters. Each number or letter should be spaced the exact same distance from the others. On government-issued bills, the first letter of the serial number should match the letter that is found in the seal. Counterfeit bills may not have sharp edges on the text or they may be printed much too dark or too light. Oftentimes, there are also spacing issues.

Another area that is often blurry in counterfeit bills is the border. The border of the bill contains intricate scrollwork with fine details. All of the lines in this area should be crisp and clear without any breaks or blurring.

If you discover a bill that you believe is counterfeit, contact your local police department or a US Secret Service Office in your area for assistance.

Take Protective Measures

One way to avoid problems with counterfeit bills is by limiting the types of currency that you accept. For instance, you could let customers know that you don’t take $100 bills. Keep in mind, however, that this may limit your ability to serve some customers since many people only have big bills on hand after they get paid.

Another option is to invest in a special pen that is designed to detect counterfeit money. This itestcash counterfeit detector pen contains a special solution that reacts by turning a dark brown or black color when it comes in contact with starch. The paper that genuine money is printed on does not contain starch. As a result, the pen won’t leave a mark on it. Counterfeit paper, on the other hand, generally does contain starch. As a result, the pen will leave behind a dark mark, indicating that the bill is suspicious. Have employees use these pens to test any large bills that they receive at the checkout stand.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.