Fake Money Can Look Very Real
Advances in printing and computer technology have made it easier
than ever for thieves to scam the public with fake money that, on a
quick glance, looks very real.
As a result, the federal government has undertaken efforts to help
educate citizens about how they can protect themselves from this
scam and tell the difference between real and counterfeit bills.
The new $100 bill that went into circulation in October 2013 has a more high-tech
look and feel and incorporates new security features designed to make it harder for
crooks to print counterfeit bills and get away with the scam. These include colorshifting ink that is very hard to duplicate — when the bill is tilted, for example, the
Liberty Bell will shift color to copper from green.
The quality and type of paper used in printing currency is probably the hardest thing
for the scammers to reproduce. Minute red and blue fibers are embedded in the
paper of real currency. While counterfeiters can print ink marks on their paper that
look like fibers — or even try to embed dyed hair into fake bills — this can usually be
spotted upon close inspection
Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals
These are clear and sharp on real bills, but often fuzzy and uneven on
counterfeit bills. Also, the colors of the Treasury Seal and serial
number should match — this is a mistake counterfeiters sometimes
You can identify scam bills by looking carefully at the serial numbers. They
should be uniformly aligned and spaced. Also, counterfeiters often do not go
to the trouble of changing serial numbers, since they are usually printing
thousands of bills at a time.
Does the coloring of the portrait of the person who is represented on the bill
stand out from the bill’s background? Or does it blend in with the rest of the
bill, or does it look flat and lifeless? Though computer and printing
technology have advanced greatly, most thieves still can’t duplicate the
printing methods used for printing the portraits on genuine bills.
Borders and Edges
On real currency, the outside borders and edges of the bill are clear and
unbroken, but they’re often blurry or fuzzy on counterfeit bills. Also, the
border ink sometimes bleeds off the edge of the bill on counterfeits, but this
never happens on legitimate bills.
Recreating the watermark — the shadow of the President’s portrait that you
see when you hold a bill up to the light — is another difficult thing for
counterfeiters to do, so they often don’t try. If a bill is missing the
watermark, this is one of the surest signs that it’s part of a counterfeit scam.
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and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any
investment offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc.
This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell
securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or
sale of securities. Member FINRA & SIPC. http://www.davidlerner.com