How to Tell if Money is Counterfeit
There is a lot of counterfeit money in circulation nowadays, and sadly the counterfeits are becoming even harder to spot than in the past. This means that if you are not wary, you could end up getting stung. If you are a store owner, or handle money, then you will certainly need to know a variety of the most common techniques which will allow you to tell whether money is counterfeit or not. In this article I am going to run you through a few of the main techniques.
Firstly, let’s deal with coins. In the past not many people counterfeited coins as the value wasn’t really there. However, nowadays they are copied a lot, and thus you will want to know how to tell if money is counterfeit when it comes to coins. Sometimes you can just ‘feel’ if a coin is counterfeit or not, it is simply lighter than what you are used to. If it feels slightly odd, then take a good long hard look at it. One of the best ways to spot counterfeit money in this case is to look at the quality of the detail in the coin. Often the processes used to craft the coin are not as sophisticated, and thus they won’t have as much detail as other coins out there. You may notice that the two sides of the coin aren’t even in alignment (the majority of counterfeit coins are like this). If you suspect that a coin is counterfeit then do not accept it. Moreover, some counterfeit coins are actually made of soft metals, for easier production, and hence can actually be cut quite easily. Having a real coin to compare with is the easiest, as there aren't a lot of 'sure' tests for the coins, but thankfully they are often easy to spot ... assuming that people just won't look closely.
Let’s discuss counterfeit notes a little now, as the process and investments made in producing these are far more advanced. There a number of different techniques that will help with how to spot counterfeit money. Many businesses have a counterfeit money detector in place, or at the very least a money pen. These are both good techniques which can be used to spot whether money is fake or not. Often businesses will try this on any note over a certain value, so don’t be embarrassed if it happens to you!
If you don’t have these techniques available to you, then there are many other ways which can be used if you are looking how to spot counterfeit money. One of the top ways is by simply feeling the money. We have all handled enough cash in our lives to know exactly what ‘cash’ should feel like. Genuine notes have raised ink, something which does appear on cheaper counterfeits. If the note feels strange to you, then it is most likely counterfeit.
If you are still unsure, then you should try comparing the dollar bill with another of the same value. This should help you spot almost instantly whether bill is fake or not. Often, counterfeit notes are made with slightly different dimensions, so all you need to do is hold them side by side.
Counterfeit notes generally have a lot less detail than standard notes, when examined closely, so this is worth bearing in mind. One of the best ways to look for counterfeit notes however is to keep an eye out for colored threads that are normally woven into the paper (or foil, as in the UK). Many counterfeit notes include these colors, but if you look closely they will be placed on top of the paper instead of being woven in. Also, many of the silver foil inserts do not actually run through fake money (although some very good fakes manage this) ... so hold it up to the light to see the graphics and silver strip run inside of the note.
Finally you can check the serial numbers of the money you have been handed. Often serial numbers of counterfeit notes will appear slightly ‘off’, for example, they won’t be evenly spaced. As you can probably guess, these notes are best avoided.
Hopefully this has provided you with the information you need when it comes to how to tell if money is counterfeit or not. If you bear just a few of these techniques in mind, you will quickly learn to spot (subconsciously) whether a bill or coin has been faked. At the very least, make sure to keep a counterfeit detection pen with you if you plan to deal with a lot of cash, they are affordable and could save you some expensive mistakes.
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