How to Detect Counterfeit Money

Written by ehow legal editor
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Counterfeiters have become more elaborate with making fake money. To the naked eye, many people are not able to identify fake money when they see it. There are several ways you can guard against accepting counterfeit money yourself. Here are some tips.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Look at the money you are receiving. Carefully inspect it for any strange colors, marks, or texture. Do not assume that a different color, texture, or design is simply a mistake made at the treasury. The bills there are all made the same based on the denomination.

  2. 2

    Compare the bill you suspect to be counterfeit with the a real bill of the same denomination and series. Make sure the portrait, federal reserve and treasury seals, paper, border, and serial numbers all look alike. Once inspection is done thoroughly, counterfeit bills are easily detected.

  3. 3

    Pay attention to the paper and the quality of the print on the paper. You will be able to detect if a bill is simply worn and tattered. There are marked differences between the quality of paper in real and counterfeit bills. Real bills have red and blue lines within the paper. Counterfeit bills have the same red and blue lines, but they are actually printed on the paper.

  4. 4

    Look for the differences in two bills, not the similarities. Many people looking at the similarities are unable to detect the differences. But if you look for the differences first, you will be able to find the counterfeit bill easier.

  5. 5

    Report counterfeit bills. It is a federal crime for anyone to make imitation money. If you receive counterfeit money report it to the authorities immediately.

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