How to Detect if US Currency Is Real or Fake
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How to Detect if US Currency Is Real or Fake

How to tell if a US Currency bills are legit. How to tell the difference between fake currency and real currency.

If you run a business the last thing you want to do is collect counterfeit money.  Most businesses don't check up on 1 dollar bills, 5 dollar bills, and 10 dollar bills, while some businesses do $20 bills are rarely ever checked.  Whip out a $50 or $100 dollar bill though and most good cashiers will be checking to see if it is legit.  So if you own a business that deals with cash, are a cashier, or even someone selling items at a garage sale it might be very handy to know how to tell if a bill is counterfeit. 

Some counterfeit dollars are very legitimate looking, but there are ways to tell if a bill is fake or not.  The first thing you do when you get a bill that you want to check is hold it up towards the light.  You should be able to see little red and blue fibers imbedded in the paper of the bill.  A good counterfeiter may try to duplicate this by creating markings that look like the fibers, but the fibers of a real bill are embedded in to the paper.  If the fibers appear to be on the surface or can be seen without holding the bill up to the light there is a good chance you have a fake bill. 

If you are still not sure if a bill is real or not after holding it up and looking for the fibers take a good look of the outline of the bill, the edges in ink before the actual edge.  They should be perfectly lined and not have a single break. 

Check to make sure the serial number of the bill is the same color as the treasury seal on the bill.  The serial number and the treasury seal should be the same color.  While the rest of the bill is all the same color on each of the sides. 

If a there is a really badly done counterfeit bill you will be able to tell very easily.  Simply rub the bill on a plain white sheet of paper.  If any of the ink comes off you definitely have a counterfeit.  The ink on real money will not rub off.  Notice that even if you accidently wash a real bill while it may be crumbled but the ink is still intact. 

So that is how you can tell if a bill in the real deal or a good fake or a bad one.

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Comments (3)

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Good info to know.Promoted.

Hi Rae, I wish I been able to read your article the other day. I had a $10 bill that looked slightly suspicious, but wasn't sure what exactly to look for. Good information and well written.

I have worked around cash, including in banks, for years. Great article!