Are Counterfeit Money Detectors Fool Proof?

Counterfeit Bill ScannerIf you are trying to stop counterfeit detection dead in its tracks, there are several tools available to help you achieve this. One question that you may be thinking is, “Are counterfeit money detectors (found here) totally fool proof?” There are many answers to this question and a lot of it depends on the technology you are using. Here are a few tips that may help you out.

To begin with, you should know that counterfeiters are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to fool the system. This should come as no surprise. High-definition printers, bleaching techniques and more make keeping ahead of the curve more and more difficult. While the U.S. government is releasing bills that make counterfeiting more difficult, manufacturers of counterfeit bill detectors are also getting more creative.

I would like to first cover common methods for counterfeiting money and then cover the various types of counterfeit bill detectors you may want to use.

What are the most common methods of counterfeiting money?

  • Copy Machine – This is very easy to detect, but on a dark or low lit room, a bill printed on a copy machine may still fly. This becomes more difficult when printed on paper with a similar color and texture to real bill paper.
  • Computer Printer (Laser or Inkjet) – This is one of the most common methods of counterfeiting bills. Full-color high definition printers can produce convincing copies.
  • Printing Press – This is far more sophisticated and is uncommon with the availability of cheap printers. Rogue countries will sometimes use sophisticated printing presses to counterfeit US bills.
  • Bleaching – People will bleach lower denomination bills and re-print it with a higher value. This is the method is very common and will fool some counterfeit detectors.

Bill Counter with Counterfeit ScanningTypes of Counterfeit Detectors

  • Pen – The counterfeit pen uses ink that reacts with starch found in normal paper. This will cause a dark mark to appear on counterfeit bills, where it appears clear on legitimate money. This format, however, will not work with bleached bills. This is not 100% accurate.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) – UV detection uses a black light to illuminate a strip found in real US currency. The strip is located in different places, depending on the denominational value. You can see where these strips are located by going here. If you are visually checking a counterfeit bill, this method is almost 100% accurate. Machines that automatically scan bills for UV properties may still be tricked by bleached bills.
  • Magnetic (MG) – This method of counterfeit detection checks certain places on the bill for magnetic ink. A bill that has been copied on standard paper will not have magnetic ink. Even bills that have been bleached will loose their magnetic ink properties. This method is almost 100% accurate.
  • Watermark (WM) – Most bills have a watermark that can be seen with a backlight. Be sure the watermark that is displayed matches up with the corresponding portrait that is printed on the bill. While this method of counterfeit detection is extremely accurate, a bleached bill that has been reprinted may still have a portrait, just not a corresponding portrait.
  • Visual – There are several visual properties in a bill that can be detected by the naked eye, or by using a magnifying glass, to determine the authenticity of a bill.
  • Combination Detectors – Many detectors will incorporate UV and MG detection. Many automated bill counters will do this. A combination machine, that checks for multiple properties, will almost always catch counterfeit money.

At ABC Office we offer a great selection of counterfeit money detectors (found here) that can be used to catch fake bills before they become a problem. We also offer a wide selection of bill counters (found here) that are equipped with counterfeit bill scanners.

If you still have questions about the correct machine for your business, please feel free to speak with one of our experts by calling us at 1-800-658-8788.

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