Posted on Apr 11, 2012 in Business & careers, Money & finances
Is there an easy way for a regular person to find out if $100 bills (and $50s and $20s) are legit, without one of those special pen things?
Now, there are numerous ways to tell if a bill is fake without one of those “special pen things,” but I’m going to be “that guy” for a minute and point out that they are only about $5 on Amazon.com.
If you’re planning on having a yard sale or Craigslisting a bunch of stuff (two very common scenarios for counterfeiters to try to pass fake cash) this is a very, very cheap form of insurance.
Yes, they have their faults. If a bill has been through the wash, it will give a false negative, and very sophisticated fakes might still fool them.
So what can you do when you’re getting that change back for your Big Mac? The good news is some observational skills, knowledge, and a bit of common sense will allow you to pick out most of the copycat cash.
Here’s a partial list of steps you can take:
These are only a small handful of ways you can determine the legitimacy of a bill. I strongly encourage you to visit the United States Secret Service “Know Your Money” page for a full and current rundown on all US currency security features, as well as info on what to do if you suspect you have a counterfeit bill. The treasury also has a NewMoney.gov site to show you the details of the newest batches of bills, offering ever more security features.
So the good news: With some caution, observation, and basic knowledge, you should be able to spot all but the most sophisticated fakes.
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