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Counterfeit Detection Are You Protected

Counterfeit detection is an important topic no matter where you work. I have a relative that works for a retailer managing the checkout counters and customer service areas. She recently cashed a check and received four fifty dollar notes. She used some of these bills to pay for an extracurricular activity at her daughter’s school. One day later, the school called to let her know one the fifty dollar bills was counterfeit.

Through a low-cost counterfeit detection device, it was determined that the bill was a fake. While the school had no intention of turning her over to the authorities, they did want their $50 back!

Considering this relative’s extensive retail background, she should have been more aware of the need to verify larger bills. Since the bill was traced directly to her, she ended up $50 in the hole. This can be a tough lesson to learn. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Determining the Authenticity of Your Money
There are many areas relating to fake money detection and bill authenticity. These areas include:

- Type of Paper
- Magnetic Ink
- Security Threads
- Various Colors
- Various Watermarks
- Fine Printing
- Serial Numbers

Despite all the above features within the current money supply, counterfeiters are still quite successful at producing fake currency. There have been technological advances in printing and imaging that have allowed counterfeiting to grow. In addition, the current economic climate does not help. With the current unemployment percentage and a depressed job market, each of us should have a increased sense of awareness that we, too, could be cheated. So how can you protect yourself?

The first step is to become familiar with the security components of your currency. The paper has a specific feel. The printing is crisp and clear. The colors are muted. Be especially mindful of this with twenty and fifty dollar bills.

You should always question the source of your larger bills. In the last few years, credit-strapped consumers have been using more cash. More cash usage translates to more opportunity for passing phony money.

But there is something you can do. With proper training and some inexpensive counterfeit detection products, businesses and consumers can do a great job in protecting themselves. The Secret Service publishes a simple but detailed guide called “Know Your Money”.

This guide details the specifics of each bill denomination so that you can understand the difference between a five dollar bill and a fifty dollar bill. I encourage you to download this guide and post it in the back room of your business as a helpful guide to your employees.

Types of Counterfeit Detectors
There are several different types of counterfeit detectors on the market. These instruments can detect the authenticity of the bill paper, the ink printed on the paper, and the various security threads woven in. In addition, there are a large range of price points, allowing you to make the proper investment based on your business and your budget.

My neighbor runs a garage sale every year. For a few dollars, she could use a counterfeit detection pen. These work by making a small mark on the bill. If the mark is amber, the bill is ok. If the mark is brown or black, the bill is suspect.

Other counterfeit detectors use ultraviolet and white light to show the security threads and authenticity of the paper. These devices are a bit more expensive ($35-$60), but are easier to use. More expensive money detection products can indicate if the note is suspicious by checking the security threads, paper and the ink. These detectors do cost more, but the process of checking is more automated and they quickly pay for themselves within a short period of time.

My relative has definitely learned her lesson! This year, at her daughter’s Girl Scout cookie sale, you can bet she’ll be more careful of the currency that is exchanged. With all the counterfeit detection products available, there’s no reason anyone should be stuck with phony bills.
About Author Trish Goldfarb :

Tricia Goldfarb is a Product Manager at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Block and Company provides money handling and security products to banks, credit unions, vending companies, retail stores, restaurants, and casinos.

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Article Added on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
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