How Counterfeiting Works

Protecting Yourself

Whether you are a normal person taking your change at a store, or you are a merchant accepting cash in your business, you need to be aware of the counterfeiting problem. As you have seen, it is easy for teenagers to print counterfeit bills, and there are more sophisticated counterfeiters who are actually bleaching out authentic bills and printing fake bills onto the bleached paper.

Here are several steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Be suspicious; take time to look at and feel the money you receive.
  • Check for obvious things like duplicate serial numbers.
  • Be especially suspicious of older bills (those bearing old pre-1996 designs) and bills of larger denominations.
  • Simply refuse to accept older bills. Nearly all the pre-1996 money that is actually legitimate has been taken out of circulation and destroyed already.
  • Look at bills in the light. The color-shift ink is very hard to fake. The security stripe and watermark are impossible to duplicate with an inkjet printer.
  • If you believe you are receiving a counterfeit bill, call the police.

­A lot of work has gone into creating bills that are hard to counterfeit. If you use the new security features, it is very easy to detect counterfeit bills.

For more information about counterfeiting and related topics, check out the links on the following page.

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