Despite there being enhanced methods of printing in place plus the implementation of special ink and paper, there are still counterfeiters out there. Banking officials and Secret Service employees are always on the lookout for counterfeit currency.
Over the past decade, the Secret Service has seized approximately 90 percent of all known counterfeit currency printed before it reached circulation. However, detecting counterfeit currency should not be the responsibility of officials alone. It is upon everyone to take part in combating counterfeiting because we all are affected by it.
Several steps to take if you think you are in possession of a counterfeit bill. These steps should be taken immediately. The first step is to call The Secret Service or your local police department to report the bill in question.
For your personal safety, please follow the following steps:
- Never put yourself in danger. Do not confront the suspected passer.
- Do not return the bill to the passer.
- If possible, delay the passer with some excuse.
- Observe the passer's description and write down their license plate numbers if possible.
- Contact your local police department or call your local U.S. Secret Service Office.
- Write your initials and date in the white border area of the suspected counterfeit note.
- Do not handle the counterfeit note. Place it inside a protective cover such as a plastic bag or envelope to protect it.
- Hand over the suspected currency to a properly identified police officer or a Secret Service Special Agent or mail it to your nearest U.S. Secret Service field office.
In addition, you should be familiar with what real currency looks like. To help put a stop to counterfeiting, people must be observant, and the best way to be diligent is to know what to look for if you think you have come across counterfeit currency.
Counterfeiters rely on the untrained eye when passing counterfeit bills. One of the best ways of lessening the production of counterfeit money is increasing the detection of fake bills. This can only be done by increasing the public awareness of the characteristics of real currency.
Please make careful notes of the following features of real currency: