Counterfeit money in the United States has become such a common problem that you may receive counterfeit money in your change when you buy something from major retailers like Walmart.
Most large retailers don’t want to spend money or time properly training their employees on how to spot counterfeit money. Instead, they rely on those markers that contain ink that supposedly changes color when marked on counterfeit money.
The reason ink changes color when marked on a counterfeit bill is that almost all counterfeit bills are made of paper.
Money is not made of paper, it is made of cloth, a mix of 25% linen and 75% cotton. That is why money feels the way it does.
But most don’t realize that many of those pens will tell you the same thing when marked in a regular newspaper – it’s real! A lot of those counterfeit markers don’t work. Very few people think about trying them and are not aware of it.
Therefore, it is quite possible for a store clerk to accept counterfeit money and put it in the box without realizing that it is counterfeit.
Of course, the clerk also makes change with the same box and gives the same counterfeit money to an unsuspecting customer.
You might even have fake money in your wallet right now and not even know it.
Real or fake, can you tell the difference?
Most Americans have no idea.
One of the easiest ways to know is to feel it. Since real money is printed on fabric, if you feel like the copier paper is probably a fake.
College students are not the brightest people on Earth. They will buy the most advanced color copiers and just make copies of a $ 10 bill or a $ 20 bill and try to distribute them around town.
They forget that not only does it not feel like fabric, but each note will have the exact same serial number as the original.
If someone hands you two or more bills of the same denomination, check the serial numbers. If they match, call the police immediately because one or all of them are fake.
There are methods that counterfeiters will use to fix the problem that it feels like paper and serial numbers are no different.
One of the most common methods is to take four $ 10 bills or four $ 20 bills and cut a corner from each of them and glue those corners onto a dollar bill.
Suddenly these $ 1 bills turn into fake $ 10 bills or fake $ 20 bills that not only feel like real bills, but also have different serial numbers. They will also pass the counterfeit pen test.
They then use these tampered notes to buy items for just a dollar or two and the clerk returns real money to them as change (assuming the clerk didn’t unknowingly received counterfeit bills, of course).
Unaware that they simply put an altered note in the box, they subsequently gave it to an unsuspecting customer as change. It could be you.
It’s easy to pass manipulated notes like this because people don’t look at the note itself. They just look at the number in the corner. If you have a 10 in the corner, it must be a $ 10 bill, right?
If they really looked at the note, they would find that it is upset because the wrong president is on it.
Everybody knows Washington is on the $ 1 bill. It’s not on the $ 10 bill or the $ 20 bill.
Do you know which president is on the $ 2 bill? Do we have $ 5?
Who is on the $ 10 bill? Who is on the $ 20 bill? The 50 dollar bill? The $ 100 bill?
Not knowing it can cost you.
Memorizing which president should be on which bill is one way to help you spot a counterfeit bill and avoid being scammed of your hard-earned money.
It is not a crime to be in possession of a counterfeit bill unless you are trying to defraud someone by handing it over to buy something. If you do, you could face 15 years in prison and a $ 15,000 fine. (USC Title 18, Section 472)
(Answers: Thomas Jeffferson is at $ 2, Abraham Lincoln is at $ 5, Alexander Hamilton is at $ 10, Andrew Jackson is at $ 20, Hiram Grant is at $ 50 (Grant’s name is not Ulysses , as is commonly thought) and Benjamin Franklin is on the $ 100 bill).