by BES Photos
There are several ways to check a bill to see if it is counterfeit. Learning this can save you from being at the losing end. Do you get cash or cash your paycheck at your bank? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you received a counterfeit bill from the bank?
No way that could happen because the banks would not have counterfeit money, right? Wrong! The bank can have counterfeit money and if you leave the bank tellers area before you realize a bill you are holding is counterfeit, guess what? It is your loss! Some banks have a machine that detects counterfeit money. Does your bank check for counterfeit money? Is the machine fool proof?
A true story
A woman went to her local bank to cash her paycheck. From the bank, she went to a grocery store and used one of the hundred dollar bills that she received from the bank. The store clerk informed her that the bill was counterfeit. Naturally, the woman was surprised because she had received the bill from the bank and surely, the bank would not be passing out counterfeit bills, would they?
She left the store and took the bill back to her bank. After taking the bill from the woman, the bank teller would not replace it or return the counterfeit bill to her. Sorry madam, that’s the way it works. This woman’s niece went to ask the bank tellers at her own bank because she didn’t think this could be true. The niece’s bank explained that once her aunt had left the bank, it was her word against the banks.
The Secret Service website says “Those who fail to carefully examine the money they receive or who cash checks and bonds without requesting proper identification are potential victims. Only with the public’s cooperation can the United States Secret Service reduce and prevent these crimes.”
People have started bleaching smaller bills to make them appear to be a larger bill. They bleach a bills and make it into a 0 bill. The markers that are normally used to detect a counterfeit will not show it is a fake because it is on the “real” paper. For example, if you hold a five-dollar bill up to a light as you are looking at the front of the bill, you should see three number 5′s on the left side and one large 5 on the right side. These are only visible when you hold it to the light.
Using a marker to detect the counterfeit bill does not work in all cases anymore. For instance, someone hands you a ten-dollar bill. If you look closely, it will be obvious because the letters ONE would be on the bill, while the actual number was changed to look like a 10 instead of a 1. Nevertheless, normally a person will only glance at the numbers on the bill and not pay attention to the written number.
How NOT to become a victim
If you cash a check at the bank, it would be to your benefit if you stood in front of the teller and check your bills or have the teller check them in front of you before ever walking away. If you walk away – even if you stay inside the bank – they can say you might have swapped the money out. The safest way would be to do your business with your debit or credit card. That eliminates the counterfeit money.
Learn more about spotting counterfeit money by visiting the United States Secret Service website for pictures and descriptions. There are several independent websites that also show pictures and more ways to spot a counterfeit bill. Keep your eyes open and carefully watch every bill you accept or have the bank teller inspect each bill while you watch.
Written by Rhonda_Buffington