Most people wouldn’t think counterfeiting is a big problem but these individuals would be wrong. On average, $40 million dollars in counterfeit currency is circulated annually in the United States alone. Although this is roughly only 1% of overall currency circulation, counterfeit money poses a great threat to commerce as well as small and large businesses.
Many victims find themselves out money that can not be replaced, which, once again, can hurt everyone, even consumers. Although the government has allowed watermarks and UV security strips to be introduced to cut down on incidences of counterfeiting, an elite few still manage to print and circulate fake bills.
When we add the fact that current technology exists to make counterfeiting even easier, this makes the potential threat to out nation’s economy even greater. All is not lost however, as we can use technology to our advantage in our fight against the proliferation of counterfeit green.
UV Machines and Counterfeit Detection
The most common form of counterfeit money detection is done via the use of UV machines. Some come in consumer grade hand held varieties as small as a pen. Others are found in money counting machines that are utilized by numerous businesses.
Both consumer and business grade UV devices have a backlight that can reveal the security strip that is currently placed in all US money. It also works by detecting the difference between wood-based paper and the fiber-based paper that real money is printed on. UV detection works especially well with crude counterfeiters who simply photocopy the bills onto regular paper or use fake watermarks or symbols.
UV money counters even sound an alarm when such money is found alerting individuals to the bill’s existence.
UV Detection Versus Counterfeit Money detectors
While a UV counterfeit detection light looks for imperfection in the inking, watermarks, or paper grades, other machines, like magnetic or MG detection devices can find magnetic properties that only exist in legitimate dollar bills. In other words, if the bill is lacking these elements, it is very much a fake.
Is one method better than the other?
Not exactly, in fact, some money counting machines may combine both UV and MG counterfeit detection technology. If an individual were going to make a choice, it would be purely based on preference as both appear to be able to detect fake bills reliably.
Chemical detection pens, or CD’s, are pens made with a patented formula that can test the authenticity of currency paper. Because most real dollar bills are made with a pulpy fiber, the pen can detect those fibers on contact. To use properly, all one would have to do is to make a mark on the bill in question. A light or clear mark will indicate the dollar is genuine. If the mark turns dark or gray, then there is a very good chance it is counterfeit.
Another common method of counterfeit money detection is the use of the Color Shifting Reflector. This particular device will allow you to see if the ink on the lower right hand corner of the front of the bill. The metal reflector will show a change of color depending on the viewing angle. The color may change from green to black or from black to green. Legitimate money has this color element and can be seen by the naked eye too.
Again, some bill counters will have a couple or all of these detection items within them. Of course, the good old fashioned hands on method of touch and feel are still a good way to separate fakes from the real thing. Still, if a company or even an individual wants to keep on the lookout for bogus dollar bills, it would certainly be to their advantage to look into the various counterfeit money detectors on the market today.