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The 3 Levels of Counterfeit Cash


The 3 Levels of Counterfeit Cash

June 5, 2023

The 3 Levels of Counterfeit Cash

Counterfeit cash is on the rise and counterfeiters are getting smarter. According to the US Secret Service there is an estimated $200 million dollars’ worth of counterfeit cash in circulation. But times are hard and with that, the number of bogus bills in circulation is on the rise. Some of these phony bills are more advanced than others. We’ve compiled a list of the most common counterfeits and offer our solution to safeguarding your registers.

Level 1 Counterfeits:

Movie Prop Money

Some of the easiest counterfeit bills to get ahold of are bills that are made for either photoshoots or movies. Movie prop money is easily bought online and has become a widespread problem. These bills are easy to spot when you’re looking for them because they either have “COPY MONEY” or “For Motion Picture Use Only” printed on the bill. Be that as it may be, cashiers are busy and in a fast-paced environment like a grocery or convivence store it can be easy to miss the warning signs and have movie prop cash end up in the register.

At Home Printed Money

Another easy method for counterfeiting that criminals deploy is simply using an ink jet printer. Technology has advanced to the point that almost anybody with a scanner printer combo can simply duplicate a singular hundred-dollar bill into countless others.

The Solution

Now the problem, or maybe the positive part of level one counterfeit bills is that they’re easy to detect. Movie prop money and at home printed money are both produced on regular paper instead of the linen/cotton blend that genuine US money is printed on. So, the solution is the Classic Counterfeit Detector Pen which is a chemical test that distinguishes the type of paper used for printing money.

Level 2 Counterfeits:

Bleached Bills

The process of bleaching money is simple. Counterfeiters take low denomination bills like $1 or $5 bills, dip them in a bleaching solution until all of the markings come off until they are left with blank paper. The legitimate cash paper is then reprinted on using a household laser printer creating bleached bills. This breed of counterfeit money is highly convincing because the paper that they’re printed on is legitimate and they can fool the pen test.

The Solution

Because the paper on bleached bills is genuine and the classic counterfeit pen won’t work, an added level of detection is needed for detection. An easy upgrade to the classic detection pen would be Dri Mark’s Dual Test, which is a classic detector pen with a UV light embedded in the cap. The UV light reveals the hidden security stripe found in all 5-dollar bills and higher to help detect bleached bills.

A favorite of casinos, banks and nightclubs is Dri Mark’s handheld UV flashlight, the UV Pro. The UV Pro makes detecting large amounts of bills at once incredibly easy. Just fan the bills out and shine the UV light over to make sure all of the security stripes are in the correct place. More advanced detection solutions like Dri Mark’s Tri Test offer additional cash evaluations including an UV LED light, the detector pen, as well as a backlight to reveal hidden watermarks.

Level 3 Counterfeits:

Super Bills

Arguably the bills most difficult to detect are referred to as Super Bills. Super Bills are made from high quality linen/cotton blend material, so they fool the Classic Detector Pen. These bills also known to have the proper watermarks and security threads as their genuine counterparts. 

The Solution

Although Super Bills can be incredibly difficult to detect many do have one very important caveat. The ink on Super Bills can lack the metallic property that can be found on genuine bills. Dri Mark offers two detectors that offer ink tests.

Dri Mark’s Flash Test offers three innovative tests on the same device, is smaller than a smartphone, faster than a scanner, over 99% accurate, and completely maintenance free. On the Flash Test, the lightning-fast ink sensor is your first line of defense and can check for counterfeits in ½ a second. If the bill appears to be fake, UV and watermark tests are also included in the unit for an extra layer of protection.

Dri Mark’s Scanner offers five different tests in one device that work together to verify genuine US currency. In less than one second Dri Mark’s Scanner checks the bill’s security strip, magnetic ink, infrared features, color, and size, producing consistently accurate results.