Counterfeit dollar bills of any denomination may go unperceived at a glance. While many rarely give a second thought to the negative effects that counterfeit money has on society, there are several different reasons to fight this growing phenomenon.
Some of these reasons include:
- Businesses are not reimbursed for counterfeit monies received, causing prices to go up for all consumers
- Decreased value of authentic bills of any denomination
- Inflation, or increase in prices may occur due to the unauthorized and artificial money supply growth
Unfortunately, developments in photocopying and computer technology have made the illegal reproduction of currency bills easier than ever. Because of this, it is important to play close attention to the money you handle in order to ward off any counterfeits. Whether at a bank, retail business, or even at home, a counterfeit bill detection device may be worthwhile if you handle large numbers of dollar bills. There are several different types of counterfeit money detection devices. The most common
devices are described below.
Counterfeit Detector Pen
People who use color copiers and color printers for counterfeiting purposes attempt to create merely passable reproductions of paper money bills. These counterfeiters are not particularly cautious or accurate, so they copy or print onto normal, wood-based paper. Authentic bills are printed on special, fiber-based paper.
The counterfeit detector pen is a simple but effective concept. It utilizes an iodine solution that in turn reacts with the starch contained in wood-based paper. The result of the reaction between the iodine solution and wood-based paper creates an unmistakable black stain. When the solution contained in the pen is applied to the fiber-based paper used in authentic bills, no discoloration or reaction occurs. The pen does nothing but detect bills printed on normal copier paper instead of the fine papers used by the U.S. Treasury. Though simple, the counterfeit detector pen can be effective in detecting real-looking currency bills that are actually printed on regular paper.
UV Counterfeit Detection Machines
Banknotes that are created by a color copy machine or printer produce a superficial image that merely rests on the surface of paper. Because of this, the artificial image of the bill can easily be detected when an Ultra Violet light is placed over it. In addition, tiny particles of printer toner outside the image, also known as bleed can be easily seen with a UV light. Many bill counters have a UV light built into the machine. The UV counterfeit detection method is very effective, since it does not allow for human error. If a counterfeit banknote is run through the UV machine, an alarm or light will alert you that the bill is counterfeit.
More Counterfeit Detection Methods
Other types of counterfeit detection methods include:
Magnetic Detection or MG detection
- MG detectors detect the magnetic components found only in real bills. When the magnetic components are not present- the bill may be fake.
- By being familiar with the different types of bills you deal with, you can use a magnifier to look for the special marks, symbols found only on authentic bills. This is a manual process.
- Watermarks are marks that are embossed into U.S. and foreign currencies. These watermarks can be easily seen when the bill is held up to fluorescent light. Watermarks are difficult to reproduce and when false, are easily detectable.
- Some bills have a metallic, color changing emblem stamped onto the bill. For example, the U.S $100 bill has a stamp in the lower right hand corner that changes from black to green. This is easily detected by the naked eye.
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