Fake $100 bills… and how to spot them!
Posted by Indignus Vernula on July 24, 2007
When I read the article on a newspaper, I remembered my own experience as a drive-thru cashier at Burger King. There are even fake $5 bills! At first sight, they look real, but with a closer look, you will know that it is counterfeit money.
The U.S. Secret Service is warning merchants to beware of “high quality” counterfeit bills circulating in Hawaii.
The bills are being distributed by a street gang from Los Angeles called Crips and the Bloods. The same bills are connected to other arrests in the Los Angeles area where more than $4 million worth of bills that turned up. About $150,000 worth of bills were passed in the last week in Hawaii. These bills are scattered all over the islands.
The suspects purchase items and will return it for legitimate cash… Smart huh? Yes, why? Because merchants were fooled that even if they use a counterfeit detector pen, the mark will turn out to brown, this means legal or genuine money.
The bills were printed on a “high quality” printer on paper that is close to the material used for U.S. Currency. They have also sprayed with a chemical so that counterfeit detector pens will not detect or identify these bills.
How to spot a counterfeit bill
- Look for currency security threads. There should be a 100 USA on the thread. These are made of thin polymer thread that glows RED when you put it under ultra-violet light. Certain bills has different colors, like the one on $5 bills that glows blue. For other bills, there should be a 50 USA, FIVE USA, and so on.
- Genuine currency has blue and red fibers in the paper, not just printed on the paper.
- Look for distinctive and sharp printing in the border, portrait, and the treasury seal.
- Check the watermark by holding the bill up to the light. Real money should have the face of the person in the portrait that can be seen both sides. Some bill may turn out real when you mark with a counterfeit detector pen but when you hold the bill up to the light, the watermark image is different from the one on the portrait. Why? It is because…
- Some bills are real but there are not $100 bills! Some people bleach a $5 bill then reprint it as a $100 bill. That’s why when you feel the paper, it is the same as the other bills.
- Sometimes, fake bills are shinier than the real ones.
- The color-changing ink at the 100 on the bottom right of the bill. It should change its color when you tilt it in any angles and turns black when viewed in an angle.
- Microprinted words that are printed on a specific part of the bill. The words “The United States of America” are printed as a line in the left collar of Ben Franklin’s coat. The USA 100 is repeatedly printed in the bottom left-hand corner of the bill. :-) These are so small that it is hard to see even with a magnifier.
- There are also fine lines and concentric lines in the portrait and in the Independence Hall that is difficult to reproduce with standard printers.
So there you have it. Next time you handle a $100 bill, make sure that it is real. Otherwise, report it to the police and give them a description of the person who gave it to you and where it happened. I hope this blog helped you.