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How To Detect False Money

 

The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. You can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency.

Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities.


Counterfeit Genuine
Portrait
The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled.


Counterfeit Genuine
Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals
On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points.


Counterfeit Genuine
Border

The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.


Counterfeit Genuine

Serial Numbers
Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.


Counterfeit Genuine
Paper
Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.

 

Enumeration of Characteristics


$10 Front (2004 Series)

$10 Front (2004 Series)



$20 Front (2004 Series)
$20 Front (2004 Series)


$20 Front (1996 Series)
$20 Front (1996 Series)


$20 Back (1996 Series)
$20 Back (1996 Series)


$20 Front (1990-1995 Series)
$20 Front (1990-1995 Series)


$20 Back (1990-1995 Series)
$20 Back (1990-1995 Series)



$50 Front (2004 Series)
$50 Front (2004 Series)



$50 Front (1996 Series)
$50 Front (1996 Series)


$50 Back (1996 Series)
$50 Back (1996 Series)


$50 Front (1990-1995 Series)
$50 Front (1990-1995 Series)


$50 Back (1990-1995 Series)
$50 Back (1990-1995 Series)



$100 Front (1996 Series)
$100 Front (1996 Series)


$100 Back (1996 Series)
$100 Back (1996 Series)

$100 Front (1990-1995 Series)
$100 Front (1990-1995 Series)


$100 Back (1990-1995 Series)
$100 Back (1990-1995 Series)

 

Design Features Which Vary On Genuine Currency


Signature
Signature
Design features sometimes vary from one series year to another. The most common variance comes with changes in the identity and, therefore, the signature of the Secretary of the Treasury or the Treasurer of the United States.



Jackson Portrait
Another common variation occurs in the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the $20 note. In the 1934 and 1950 series years, he is depicted with one more finger showing than on notes of other series years.

Jackson Portrait   Jackson Portrait



Treasury Seal
The 1966 series marked a change in note design. One hundred dollar United States Notes of that series year featured a re-designed Treasury seal with an English inscription replacing the Latin one. The new seal, phased in over succeeding years, appears on all Federal Reserve Notes of the 1969 series year or later.

Treasury Seal   Treasury Seal



Motto
Motto
"In God We Trust" was first printed in 1955 on $1 Silver Certificates, 1935G series year. It was gradually phased in on other denominations and classes and is now printed on the back of all U.S. paper currency of the series year 1963B or later.



 
Federal Reserve Seal
Prior to Series 1996, each Federal Reserve Note bears a regional seal at the left of the portrait. This seal, printed in black, bears the name of the issuing Federal Reserve Bank and the letter designating the Federal Reserve district in which that bank is located. On notes of the 1950 series and later, the black Federal Reserve regional seal is smaller than earlier designs and is surrounded by sharp points. Starting with the 1996 series Federal Reserve notes, a new universal seal represents the entire Federal Reserve system. A letter and number below the upper left serial number identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank.

Federal Reserve Seal   Federal Reserve Seal

Federal
Reserve Bank
Letter Number
Boston A 1
New York City B 2
Philadelphia C 3
Cleveland D 4
Richmond E 5
Atlanta F 6
Chicago G 7
St. Louis H 8
Minneapolis I 9
Kansas City, MO J 10
Dallas K 11
San Francisco L 12



Serial Numbers and Star Notes
Serial Numbers and "Star Notes"
Each note of the same denomination and series has its own individual serial number. When a note which bears a serial number is mutilated in the course of manufacture, it must be replaced in the series to ensure a proper count of the notes produced. To print another note with an identical serial number would be costly and time-consuming. Consequently, a "star note" is substituted. This note has a serial number which is out of sequence with the others in the series. A star is printed after the number to show that it was placed in the series as a substitute.



Check Letter, Face Plate Number, Quadrant Number, Back Plate Number
These designations are printed in specific locations on the note. In the manufacturing process, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses these designations to identify the specific placement of the note on the specific printing plate.

Raised Notes

Genuine paper currency is sometimes altered in an attempt to increase its face value. One common method is to glue numerals from higher denomination notes to the corners of lower denomination notes.

These bills are also considered counterfeit, and those who produce them are subject to the same penalties as other counterfeiters. If you suspect you are in possession of a raised note:
  • Compare the denomination numerals on each corner with the denomination written out at the bottom of the note (front and back) and through the Treasury seal.

  • Compare the suspect note to a genuine note of the same denomination and series year, paying particular attention to the portrait, vignette and denomination numerals.

Raised Notes

 

General Information:

Euros

How to detect false Euro? - Euro Bank Notes - Information About Euro : Participating countries :  Security features may deteriorate. :  Whose signature is on the banknotes?  Who designed the banknotes? Why is the word EURO written in both Greek and Latin letters?  Why are the banknotes easy to use for blind and partially sighted people?  Do the bridges on the back of the banknotes actually exist?

- Euro Coins - Euro Coins Collector

 

Dollar

How to detect false Dollar? - How to detect False Coins Dollars? - Dollar Images - Dolar History - How to detect false Government Checks? - When Dollar Is Damaged or Wears Out

 

Bank Notes

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