Counterfeit Cash Crackdown: Millions Seized and How To Spot Fake Currency

Decline in Fake Bills, Yet Threat Remains

The Secret Service’s efforts to safeguard the financial infrastructure of the United States led to the seizure of $21.8 million in counterfeit currency in 2023. Although this marks a decrease from previous years, the presence of fake money in circulation continues to challenge communities and businesses, with recent spikes reported in states like Kansas and Indiana.

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How to Spot Counterfeit Money

Despite the decline in counterfeit currency, the threat persists, prompting authorities to educate the public on detection methods. Traditional counterfeit detection pens are no longer foolproof. Instead, attention to the bill’s security features is paramount. For instance, $20 bills printed after 2003 have distinct security attributes, including a security thread with “USA TWENTY” and a watermark of President Andrew Jackson. Moreover, the color-shifting ink that changes from copper to green when tilted is a key feature on bills of higher denominations.

The Real Cost of Fake Money

The use of counterfeit cash can lead to significant legal consequences, as seen in recent cases where individuals faced prison sentences for producing or passing fake bills. The Secret Service and the Federal Reserve urge the public and businesses to report suspected counterfeit currency and provide descriptions of the suspects to assist law enforcement efforts.

Stay Informed and Vigilant

As the fight against counterfeit currency continues, staying informed about how to identify fake bills is crucial for protecting oneself and the community. With comprehensive resources available from the U.S. Currency Education Program and the Secret Service, everyone can contribute to maintaining the integrity of the nation’s financial system.

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