Former Secret Service Agent Explains How to Detect Counterfeit Money | Tradecraft | WIRED

Sharing buttons:

counterfeit money is an important weapon

of The Saboteur throw time counterfeit

currency has played a vital role in the

history of the United States to banks

and other financial institutions Secret

Service offers instruction and how to

detect spurious money there are always

menu differences obvious to the trained

eye which make detection possible since

the Secret Service inception they have

worked tirelessly to suppress

counterfeit currency


a lot of people are unaware that the

United States Secret Service was formed

during the Civil War in response to the

rising counterfeit currency that was

being printed by the Confederate Army

and distributed in the north when we

talk about counterfeit currency what

we're talking about isn't something that

you print at home we're talking about a

very high level artistic formation of

Federal Reserve notes notes that are so

undetectable to the common person and

they're very often times not even picked

up in banks during World War two Hitler

and the Nazis tried the same methodology

they forced Jewish artisans to create

counterfeit currency to try to

destabilize the US dollar globally all

of those attempts failed they're experts

in genuine currency so they were able to

secure the Treasury and the US financial

institutions from this impact of

counterfeit currency in major financial

regions in the United States hundreds of

thousands of dollars of counterfeit

currency are seized every week the role

of the Secret Service is to suppress

that counterfeit count and ensure that

those bills don't continue circulating

through the US economy incorporated into

every Federal Reserve Note are certain

security features some of those security

features are main classified in our

closely guarded secrets of the US

government here we're looking at a 20

and 100 dollar Federal Reserve Note both

have watermarks that are printed into

the paper itself process that's

developed when the paper stock is made

and it's embedded into the fibers it's

not a print it's actually an imprint

into the paper itself additionally a

common feature that is seen with the

naked eye is present in the lower right

hand corner of the 20 in the 100 dollar

bill and it's called optical varying ink

its image shifting ink that changes

color as the bill moves micro printing

is fine fine artistic work that's

embedded in the the genuine plate what

that means is you can't take a bill and

photocopy it and have it have the same

quality in the microwave in ting it'll

come through as just a straight line

that's a key indicator that it would be

a counterfeit bill one feature on the

$100 bill if you look very finely

printed on the lapel of Franklin his

microprinting it says the United States

of America very hard to see with the

naked eye but under magnification

it's another security feature and

finally embedded are colored fibers red

blue and there's also some that glow

with UV lighting these are key

indicators of a genuine bill on the

higher denomination bills there's a 3d

hologram strip that's imprinted into the

fiber itself that is again another

indicator of a genuine bill every bill

from the one to the 100 has a serial

number that serial number for the secret

service is used as a tracking device we

know what genuine bills look like and we

know what their their serial number and

sequence are counterfeiters don't

necessarily so oftentimes a bill that

does not follow a specific sequence are

a key indicator of a counterfeit Federal

Reserve note every genuine Federal

Reserve Note is associated to a Federal

Reserve Bank that is indicated on the

bill via specific locations here

oftentimes counterfeiters don't align

the bill to the right Federal Reserve

Bank again a key indicator of a

counterfeit bill counterfeiters seek to

undermine the credibility of the US

financial system by just the sheer

manufacturing of counterfeit currency

the Secret Service mindful of the impact

of this has they've worked with the

Department of the Treasury to come up

with security standards that are

inherent in every bill