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Detecting Counterfeit Currency

What is the best way to train tellers on detecting counterfeit currency?

Answer by Barry Thompson: There are two places to go that will give you all the information you need to train tellers on detecting counterfeit currency. The first is the Secret Service website located at You should review the link for “Know Your Money” which is designed specifically for your request.

The second resource is the At this site go to the “classroom” link which will provide you with additional resources for your staff.

In my opinion the best way to train your staff on detecting counterfeit currency “FEEL!”


Answer by Dana Turner: One more technique that you won't find on any website:Scratch the surface of the portrait's clothing. The portrait consists of numerous fine lines, dots and dashes -- which vary in size and shape. The portrait's clothing is printed using several layers of lines -- and "strumming" this surface from bottom to top on a real bill creates noticeable vibrations felt by your index fingernail. A counterfeit bill will feel smooth and no vibrations will be detected.


Answer by Mary Beth Guard: Think high tech as well, since the most recent issuances of U.S. bills (other than the $1) can be checked under ultraviolet light to verify the presence of security features. The cost of such devices is nominal. There's a UV (black light) pen in the Banker Store, as well as a handheld black light.

First published on 1/31/05

First published on 01/31/2005

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