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Detecting Counterfeits: Money Counters and Special Pens

I have heard that there is available a money counter that can detect counterfeit bills or some type of ink pen that can be used to determine is the bill is fake. Do you have any information regarding these items?

Answer by Andy Zavoina, BOL Guru:

Counterfeit bill detector pens can be purchased at most office supply stores and can cost as little as $5. Why aren't these in widespread use if they can be so inexpensive… caveat emptor. You may talk to your Federal Reserve Bank on things they have found useful and effective. Some items will be more effective than others and references from informed sources will be your best lead.


Answer by Barbara Hurst, BOL Guru:

There are several products out there - but unfortunately, none is fool-proof. The black light about comes as close as anything. The pens work most of the time. But if a bill has been stuffed into a pocket, and the pocket has gone through the wash-dry cycle, the pen will show false. OR if you have a counterfeit that has been "treated" with hair spray - It may show up as good - even though it's counterfeit! The Secret Service says the best way to test for a counterfeit is to trust a teller's fingers and a teller's intuition. Some may still get by you, but we've found an experienced teller will let very few counterfeits escape.

First published on 3/5/01

First published on 03/05/2001

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