The Facts About Counterfeit Money

One thing to remember is to not let happiness at receiving money blind you to the fact that it might be counterfeit. Ordinary consumers can be victims of this fraud as well as businesses. While advances at the Treasury have made it more difficult for money to be counterfeited, the criminals are always working hard to find ways around the Treasury’s roadblocks.

The Treasury Department is responsible for our money, coins and paper money, and they have many tips for checking your money to see if it is real or not. There are also now some interesting devices that can be used to confirm that we are not passing or receiving counterfit money instead of the real thing, but observation and facts should be all you need.

It is recommended by the Treasury Department that you compare two bills to check for authenticity. Use the bill you are unsure of, and use a bill you are sure of, such as one you received at a bank. Using a magnifying glass or other enlarging device, look for differing details. Pay particular attention to the facial details of the portraits. A genuine bill will have a much clearer and more realistic portrait. Fake bills may also appear dingier or have a less vibrant appearance. forged money

The next things to inspect are the seals for the Federal Reserve and United States Treasury. Real money will have seals that have a pointed, saw-like border which is distinct and well-defined. Seals on counterfeit money on the other hand will often have broken, missing, or ill-defined edges and may be a dullish color. Also look out for blurriness in the scroll patterns.

An excellent point of reference is the serial number. Counterfeit money often uses a font that does not quite match real money. It also may use a slightly different color ink. Real money will use even spacing between the characters which will also be perfectly aligned. Also the color exactly matches the color of the seals.

Paper used for US bills is a unique type of formulation and has specific colors laid in so it can be identified. It can only be used for money and not copied or imitated for any other purpose. Sometimes, rather than trying to manufacture paper to match it, people bleach the lower denomination bills then print higher values on and try to pass them off as real.

An even more amazingly brazen trick is cutting the corners from higher denominations and pasting them on lower ones hoping no one will notice. The Treasury shows a one dollar bill with a “10” pasted over the one. We all know George Washington is not on $10 bills, but someone rushed might accept even obvious counterfit money. Occasionally, even coins are faked, but this mostly limited to very rare coins.

American currency has undergone some updating recently to hinder potential counterfeiters. According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing the newer bills have had some colors added, as well as some more sophisticated security features. On the new $50 there is color changing ink, that alters according to the angle at which you hold it, there is a new watermark, microprinting, and the embedded ‘USA 50’ thread.

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