Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Protect Your Business From Counterfeiters

With the new $100 dollar bill just a few months away it seems like a good time to remind business that accept cash (mostly brick and mortar stores) to check most of the currency they handle.

Normally business check bills of $20 dollars and over.  Some business will not accept denominations over $20 dollars.  That can be as much about keeping change on hand a well as security.

The U.S. government estimates that less than 1/100 of 1 percent (that is, 0.01%), of U.S. paper currency in circulation is counterfeit. Considering recent advances in printing technology and the obviously vast incentive to counterfeit bills, that is a small number. In part, that's because the U.S. Secret Service thoroughly investigates all reported counterfeiting cases, and because there are criminal penalties for counterfeiting or passing fake bills. Perhaps more than anything, though, counterfeiting is difficult because of the bills' security features, which are hard to reproduce but easy to use to verify your money's authenticity.

The Secret Service and U.S. Treasury do not recommend relying solely on a counterfeit-detection pen of the kind that you often see clerks use in stores. These pens can only indicate whether the note is printed on the wrong kind of paper (they simply react to the presence of starch). As such, they will catch some counterfeits, but they won't detect more sophisticated fakes and will give false-negatives on real money that is been through the wash.

Modern bills are imprinted with overt (or visible) security features that help identify counterfeit money.  The most prominent is the color shifting ink used on bills produced after 2006.  To identify the color shifting ink look at the lower-right hand corner of the bill's face.  Notice the printed numeral and tilt the bill back and forth.  Depending on the angle at which you view the bill the color will shift from grey to green and back again.  This is the first step in identifying fake money.  Color shifting ink is very difficult to replicate and usually cannot be done on a laser printer.

U.S. Currency uses Intaglio printing. This printing uses intricately carved plates and extremely heavy printing presses to "imprint" the currency.  Imprinting means to physically alter the surface of the paper the money is printed on.  This creates a distinctive raised or ruff feeling to the currency that you won’t find on currency printed without intaglio printing. Look at the image of Benjamin Franklin on the $100 dollar bill.  The very fine detail along his eye and face as well as around the oval surrounding his face are nearly impossible for a laser printer to replicate.  Of course, that is a good spot to rub your finger or thumb along the bill to feel the "raised ridges" that result from intaglio printing.

Looking for quality business printing to help you get you message across in one of many styles of printed brochures.  We can get you started with a simple phone cal to 623.582.1302.  Ask about our current specials.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302