If a business accepts cash, it runs the possibility of accepting counterfeit bills. In 2005, the United States Secret Service made 3,717 arrests and seized $61 million in counterfeit currency that was already in circulation. The FBI estimates businesses lose approximately $200 billion per year to counterfeiting. Businesses are not reimbursed for counterfeit bills they accept, and federal law prohibits knowingly passing counterfeit money. To more effectively guard against accepting counterfeit money:
- Know the identifiers contained on different monetary denominations.
- Know the different methods of counterfeit detection
- Determine a cost-effective and appropriate method for your business
Learn the security identifiers encrypted on paper bills.Authentic bills have specific security features such as special cloth-blend paper, microprinting, watermarks, security threading, and magnetic ink. Educate employees on the security features of the $10, $20, $50 & $100 bill.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the government agency charged with printing money, has detailed descriptions of currency security features and reports current updates.
Research the different types of counterfeit detectors.There are several types of counterfeit detectors. Some are simple highlighter type pens with special ink that reacts to the unique cloth-blend currency paper. Other detectors are more sophisticated, using UV light to illuminate watermarks and sensors that detect magnetic ink used to print the bills. There are several detectors that perform multiple authentication tests, but these tend to be more expensive.
Consider your risk.When deciding what type of detector to purchase, consider the company’s potential risk for receiving counterfeit bills. Banking and retail industries are at a higher risk due to receiving large volumes of cash daily. Service industries, which deal more with credit and checks, are at a lower risk.
- Determine how much will be spent on detection devices. Detection equipment costs anywhere from $19 for a pen detector to $3,500 for a dual unit that counts currency while screening it.
- Companies near international borders that receive foreign currency should select a machine programmed to identify denominations from different countries.
- Companies that deal with high volumes of cash should select machines that scan at a rate of .07 seconds per bill.
- The U.S. $20 is currently the most counterfeited denomination in the world. Be sure to place extra emphasis on detection when receiving $20 bills.