linked to www.secretservice.gov header image linked to www.secretservice.gov header image linked to www.secretservice.gov header image
Skip Header InformationSkip to navigation United States Secret Service USSS Star
   United States Secret Service Star

KNOW YOUR MONEY

How To Detect Counterfeit Money

The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. You can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency.

Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities.


Counterfeit Genuine
Portrait
The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled.


Counterfeit Genuine
Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals
On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points.


Counterfeit Genuine
Border

The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.


Counterfeit Genuine

Serial Numbers
Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.


Counterfeit Genuine
Paper
Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.

Previous Page | Table of Contents | Next Page

 linked to www.secretservice.gov header image USSS Star

Search
» Search the website

Powered by USA.gov

About
» Home
» Who We Are
  - Director
  - Deputy Director
  - Special Agents
  - Uniformed Division
  - Support Personnel
» Our Dual Mission
» Rowley Training Center
» History
» Frequently Asked Questions
» Student Q&A

Contact Us
» Contact Information
» Field Offices

Investigations
» Investigative Mission
» Criminal Investigations
» Forensic Services
» Investigative Support
» Know Your Money
» Electronic Crimes Task Force
» Law Enforcement Resources

Protection
» Protective Mission
» How Protection Works
» National Special Security Events
» National Threat Assessment Center

Press Room
» Most Wanted
» Photo Gallery
» Press Releases
» Annual Report
» FOIA
» Downloads
» Information Quality

Employment
» Employment Opportunities
» Application Forms
» Equal Employment Opportunity
» EEO Data Posted Pursuant to the
No FEAR Act
» Reasonable Accommodation

Business Opportunities
» Procurement Division
(For Vendors)

Partnerships
» Boys and Girls Club Partnership
» Center for Missing and Exploited Children Partnership






Copyright 2014 United States Secret Service. All rights reserved.
http://www.secretservice.gov
Home | Privacy Policy | Security Notice | Section 508 | Department of Homeland Security | USA.gov