Counterfeit Money: How to Spot Fake Bills

Though it is recommended that you invest in counterfeit money detectors and other tools, it is also important that you be conversant with other ways to know if a bill is authentic or fake. Federal banks have put in place several physical characteristics of counterfeit money that you can identify with an eye’s glance.

In this article, we have listed for you several ways to understand if a currency is authentic or counterfeit. Share the information with your friends and colleagues and help the business save thousands of dollars.

The ink

While the normal bill possesses a constant shade of green, this is not the case. An authentic denomination has some color-shifting ink in the bottom right corner. If you tilt a $5 dollar bill (or a higher value bill) back and forth, you will see the right-hand corner color shift. It typically changes from green to black.


This is yet another characteristic of authentic bills. On older banknotes, the watermark is an oval spot, while for newer notes it is the replica of the face. They are not the only characteristics you should check on the watermark. Also, consider:

  • The watermark should only make itself visible when the bill is tilted to the right.
  • The watermarks are located to the right of the currency.
  • For the newer notes, the watermark should match the face on the currency. If the face on the watermark doesn’t match that on the bill, then that is a fake currency.


One has to appreciate the crisp text and printing in every bill. If there is any form of blurriness on a bill, i.e., blurry text, print, or borders, then be wary of such a bill. Valid bills are made from printing plates that make fine and accurate lines. Authentic bills are very detailed, making them very hard to counterfeit. If there is any place where the bill is unreadable, then the possibility is high that the bill is fake.

Printing that is raised

As mentioned above, authentic bills make use of hard printing plates that cut sharp lines on the paper. These detailed lines make the notes have raised print. If you run the pad of your finger/ fingernail down a bill, you will be able to note the raised printing. If you don’t detect any of this texture, make sure to check for other characteristics in this article.

In a nutshell

If you have interacted with bills and examined them thoroughly, you will conclude that it is not easy to detect counterfeit bills without the tools and appropriate technology. In addition, the installed security features were not meant to be detected by the naked eye. If you are an individual or company that deals with hard cash in this day and age, you need the tools for the job.

Reach out to specialists and request Carnation counters or any other reliable brand. An efficient counter comes with a counterfeit detector attribute that can prove its worth.

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