The circulation of counterfeit money is no longer news. If you’ve ever been a victim, you can tell it’s devastating.
Differentiating real money from counterfeit is not an easy task; however, it does not require a laboratory test or a university degree. Whenever you have doubts about the quality of notes issued to you, simply perform a test.
Wondering what the test is?
We have compiled a list of simple ways to distinguish counterfeit notes from real notes.
What is counterfeit money?
Counterfeiting is the oldest method used by fraudsters to defraud unsuspecting people of their money. Counterfeit money is a currency created without the legal sanction of a state or government, usually in an intentional attempt to imitate that currency and deceive its recipient.
Producing or using counterfeit money is illegal and constitutes fraud or forgery. Money counterfeiters are nearly as old as money itself: plated copies (known as Fourrées) of Lydian coins, thought to be among the first Western coins, have been discovered.
Before paper money, the most common method of counterfeiting involved combining base metals with pure gold or silver. Another type of counterfeiting is when legitimate printers produce documents in response to fraudulent instructions.
With a “real” note, you can invest in real estate. See our article on how to Make Money From Property
Counterfeit money vs real money: Differences
Identifying the differences can help reduce the risk of a business failing. Here are some ways to spot counterfeit money vs. real money:
- Texture & Material of Paper
- Serial Number and Year of Production
- Security thread
- Security Ribbon
- Colored fibers
- Color-changing ink.
- Borders and crisp printing
#1. Texture & Material of Paper
Genuine currency has a distinct texture. it is made of 25% linen and 75% cotton and has been supplied to the US Bureau. it also has small red and blue security fibers that are evenly distributed throughout the material of the bill.
Counterfeiters, on the other hand, attempt to replicate this effect by printing red and blue threads in a similar pattern on fake bills.
A close inspection, however, often reveals that the “fibers” are only on the surface, indicating that you have a forgery on your hands. All Federal Reserve notes are printed on paper with security fibers embedded.
If you touch a bill and it doesn’t feel right or familiar, it’s probably fake. Examine it more closely for additional signs of counterfeiting.
#2. Serial Number and Year of Production
Each bill has a unique serial number, which appears twice on the front of each note on the right side and in the upper left corner and consists of a unique combination of 11 numbers and letters.
The first letter of the serial number on an authentic bill corresponds to the series year printed to the right of the portrait.
The following are the serial number prefixes and series years: A (1996), B (1999), C (2001), D (2003), E (2004), F (2003A), G (2004A), H (2006), I (2006), J (2009), K (2006A), L (2009A), M (2013), N (2017), and P (2017A).
If you receive multiple strange pieces of money with matching serial numbers, they are counterfeit. The serial number should also match the series. If you receive strange notes without matching serial numbers, they are counterfeit.
The watermark. You should be able to see a watermark on the right side of the bill if you hold it up to the light. It could be an oval or a replica of the bill’s face, depending on how old it is. It’s fake if the watermark is a face that doesn’t match the one in the middle of the bill.
The watermark is a portrait replica that appears to the right of the printed image. In general, if there is no watermark or if the watermark is visible without holding the bill up to the light, the money is probably counterfeit.
#4. Security thread
Each denomination has its own security thread color and placement. It is one of the most distinct security indicators of a genuine bill.
When you hold a genuine bill of a certain denomination up to the light, you will notice a security thread running vertically across the bill to the right or left of the portrait.
#5. Security Ribbon
The recent $100 note has a 3-D security ribbon woven into the paper to the right of Benjamin Franklin’s portrait. Moving the bill causes the images of bells and 100s to shift.
The bells and 100s move side to side when the note is tilted back and forth; when the bill is tilted side to side, it moves up and down. This 3-D security ribbon is reportedly impossible for counterfeiters to duplicate, making it an easy way to confirm the authenticity of a $100 bill.
#6. Colored fibers
Genuine bills will be woven with red and blue threads. Counterfeiters will occasionally attempt to replicate these by printing red and blue lines on the bills, so compare the texture to another bill, preferably from a bank.
#7. Color-changing ink
If you look at a $10 bill from a different angle, the number in the bottom right corner will appear to change colors.
It may change from copper to green or green to black, depending on the denomination and when it was printed. Because color-shifting ink was first introduced in 1996, some older bills may lack this feature.
#8. Borders and crisp printing
Real currency is printed with extremely detailed, die-cut printing plates capable of producing incredibly fine lines. As a result, counterfeit printers are rarely able to replicate the level of detail.
To identify a counterfeit bill, examine the printing quality, particularly the borders, for any blurred areas. If you notice significantly blurry borders, printing, or text, it’s a dead giveaway that the money is counterfeit.
Different Types of Counterfeit Money Detectors
Different types of counterfeit detectors are great for other applications, ranging from pens to UV lights to currency counters with built-in counterfeit detection. When choosing a counterfeit detector, keep in mind that relying on a single testing method may not be sufficient. Multiple factors must be checked because technological advancements have made counterfeits more challenging to detect.
Let’s look at the various types of counterfeit detection available to help you decide which is best for you.
- Ultraviolet Counterfeit Detection
- Magnetic and Metal Thread Counterfeit Detection
- Watermark Counterfeit Detection
- Size Detection
- Serial number and CIS
a. Ultraviolet Counterfeit Detection
Banknotes contain invisible UV marks that become visible only when exposed to ultraviolet light as a security precaution. And it can’t just be any ultraviolet light; it must have a wavelength of 365 nanometers in order to be detected.
These UV marks are displayed instantly by counterfeit detectors, allowing you to visually verify notes. More advanced ultraviolet detectors are also available, which use UV and photonic sensors to automatically verify UV marks on a genuine banknote.
b. Magnetic and Metal Thread Counterfeit Detection
Magnetic detection is also used by some counterfeit money detectors to identify magnetic ink and metal threads placed on strategic areas of bank notes. This is another type of common counterfeit detection.
c. Watermark Counterfeit Detection
Some detectors will use light to view watermarks embedded in genuine bank notes. These watermarks are not visible to the naked eye.
d. Size Detection
Newer, more advanced counterfeit detectors can also determine whether the bill being verified is the correct size. Because all bills are the same size, any variation would be a red flag for a fraudulent bill. Size detection provides an additional layer of security.
e. Serial number and CIS
Each banknote has its own unique serial number on both sides. To scan and record serial numbers, detection machines employ an advanced CIS sensor.
While CIS is not a form of counterfeit detection in and of itself, it is the banknote recognition technology that aids in the detection of serial numbers.
How much counterfeit money is in circulation?
According to the United States Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation, or approximately one counterfeit note for every 10,000 genuine notes, with a maximum limit of $200 million in counterfeit notes, or one counterfeit note for every 4,000 genuine notes.
However, these figures are based on annual counterfeiting seizure rates, and the actual stock of counterfeit money is unknown because some counterfeit notes are successfully circulated for a few transactions.
Is it illegal to buy fake money in the UK?
It is a federal crime to manufacture, use, or possess counterfeit currency obtained with the intent to defraud. A person charged with forgery Currency can result in serious felony charges.
Differentiating counterfeit money from real money can help reduce the likelihood of a business failing. They can be identified using a counterfeit detector.
Keep in mind that a single testing method may not be sufficient. Because technological advancements have made counterfeits more difficult to detect, multiple tests should be considered.
Now that you can tell the difference between real money and counterfeit money, you can invest in learning about Personal Finance; it will broaden your understanding of how to plan with your money.
How can you tell if money is counterfeit?
The best way to tell if money is counterfeit is by using counterfeit detectors ranging from pens to UV lights to currency counters with built-in counterfeit detection.
What does counterfeit money do?
Some of the negative impacts of counterfeit money on society include a decrease in the value of real money and an increase in prices (inflation) as more money circulates in the economy—an unauthorized artificial increase in the money supply; a decrease in the acceptability of paper money; and a decrease in the acceptability of coins. as well as losses
What do you call a counterfeit money?
Counterfeit money is a currency created without the legal sanction of a state or government, usually in an intentional attempt to imitate that currency and deceive its recipient.
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