Counterfeiting Money, Cheques

Counterfeiting is as old as money itself. No sooner is a new currency released than counterfeiters are busy creating their imitation. For every genius trying to manufacture money, others of equal intelligence are trying to foil their criminal intent. Preventing others from counterfeiting and detecting those trying to use phony money has become an industry of its own.
Counterfeiting is said to be the worlds second oldest profession, having been part of the world of money for over two thousand years. It is believed that counterfeiting was started back in 700 B.C, but the first factual evidence has told us that counterfeiting actually started in 269 B.C, during the rule of the Romans. The Roman empire used
Coins like these were sometimes counterfeited during the Roman days.
Coins like these were sometimes counterfeited during the Roman days.

coinage for gold and silver as their economic system, and with that many people tried to forge normal looking coins into gold and silver. Counterfeiters during this time mixed many metals together to make the shape of the coin, then put a thin layer of the gold or silver around it to give the fake coins the same appearance as the real ones. Though mixing metals doesn't seem too difficult, the practice was not frequent and many didn't counterfeit during this period. But when paper
money was first introduced in 1650 in Europe, counterfeiting flourished. Also because of the poor quality of paper and designs the real money had, it was very easy for people to counterfeit. As a result, governments started to implement harsh penalties to those who were caught counterfeiting.
Just before the Revolutionary War in 1775, the new United States instituted paper money but each state had different currencies. Not only was counterfeiting used during this time to help ones self, but also to hurt an opposition, especially during war time. When more and more money whether fake or real is put into "Circulation" it takes lowers the value of the real money. This tactic was used by the British during the Revolutionary War as hundreds of thousands of counterfeit money was poured into the Colonial economy. As a result the Continental Dollar wasworthless.
A little less than one hundred years later, the U.S government in 1862 instituted a federal money system due in large part to the fact that with each individual state having their own
Secret Service logo. It was created in 1863 to help prevent counterfeiting.
Secret Service logo. It was created in 1863 to help prevent counterfeiting.
money system, it was easy for counterfeiters to just make their own money. As the Civil War was occuring, the Union used the same tactic that had been used on them a century ago by the British, and started counterfeiting Confederate dollars in hopes of creating a economic failure in the South. The South would soon surrender in 1865 because they had not enough money to supply their troops. This same year the government created the Secret Service. Their job was solely to help stop and prevent counterfeiting from happening.

In recent years with new technological advances, it has become easier for men and women of all ages to start counterfeiting. That is why in the past two decades, the U.S banking has created new dollar bills which are to be used to help stop counterfeiting. These dollar bills have new safety features which make it more difficult for counterfeiters to succeed in making fake money.
Counterfeiting Methods
Today withthe upgrades in technology, common folk can now counterfeit with ease. The most common and easiest way of counterfeiting is by scanning dollar bills. With printers being able to scan at very high resolutions, it allows for the counterfeiter to get their hands on a almost identical printed side of a dollar bill. Though the paper is very different and not of the same texture, many counterfeiters hand these bills to places that they know wont realize it is conterfeit.
A more advanced method of counterfeiting is instead of just handing a scanned copy of a bill, the counterfeiters first bleach a real, one dollar bill. They do this so that the fake money they are creating is the same thickness and feel as real money, thus may not be identified as fake. After bleaching, they then print or scan a high resolution copy of a bill and either tape it or glue it to the bleached bill. With this bill, it will look the same as any bill upon quick glance, and will feel the same as real money because technically it is real money.
Counterfeiting Prevention
With counterfeiting becoming more frequnently seen, the U.S government as well as the Secret Service have had to start adding new security features on the dollar bills to make it harder for dollar bills to be counterfeited. In order to prevent counterfeiting from happening, the Sercet Service has implemented new dollar bills with new security items in order to make it harder. Bills made in the past decade have many security features that make it almost impossible for an ametuer to counterfeit

Some of these security features are
1) Multi colored prevention background
The front of a 20 dollar bill which has many of the features listed (Left)

2) The portrait is slightly off centered
3) A symbol to the right of the portrait printed in metallic ink.
4) Bottom right corner; the number shifts color based on angle looked at (copper to green)
5) Security thread embedded veritcally down the bill
6) Micro printing appear in different areas of bills (not uniform)
7) Blue and red thread intertwined in the bill itself.
Counterfeiting Detection
As technology to help counterfeiters improves, technology that helps detect phony bills before they go into circulation also improves. There are three main methods which are used to catch counterfeiters. These three methods are

Counterfeiting detector pen- (left) A quick way to check whether someone is paying you with counterfeit money or not. The p
Counterfeiting detector pen
enuses Iodine solution and if the paper is normal, starch wood paper, the solution will react showing a color mark on the paper. But if the money is real, no reaction will occur.

-UV Counterfeit detection machine- This machine is used to identify whether or not the bill was from a normal color copy machine. If the bill was a copy from a printer, the bill in the machine will be easily detected because little tiny particles will be visible.
-Magnetic detector- Normal money is made with a certain percentage of magnetic ingredients and when fake money passes through this machine, it alerts who that the bill that just went in is phony, because it wasn't made with the magnetic component.
Though these devices are great for detection, not everyone has one nor can afford one. So the best ways to be able to detect counterfeit bills are
1) being suspicious older bills
2) Looking at money in the light
3) Make sure not serial number is the same on multiple bills
4) Feel the dollar bill. Make sure it doesn't feel like computer paper.

Counterfeiting relates to Forensic Chemistry because if there is counterfeit money, they need to check the money for fingerprints to see who may have been making the bills. Not only this, but forensics also need to check the dyes and other materials used to produce the counterfeit money.

Famous cases involving counterfeiting
During the Civil War, a man named Samuel C. Upham was a supporter of the Union who wanted to help them win the war in anyway. He started counterfeiting Confederate bank notes in order to help contribute to the collapse of the Confederate economy. It is said that from March 1862 to August 1863 that he helped circulate 15 million dollars worth of Confederate bank notes. Though the government knew that he was counterfeiting, they didn't make an effort to try and stop him but encounaged him to keep counterfeiting because it was hurting the enemy.
Stephan Jory is to this day the biggest counterfeiter in England to this day. Being a counterfeiter in the 1990's it is said that he circulated over 5 billion pounds of British currency. He was caught in 1998 and after being incarcerated England soon came out with a new 20 pound bill in order to add new security features to the bills. The new bills coming out was in large part to Stephan Jory's counterfeiting ring.
Abagnale Jr.
Abagnale Jr.

Frank William Abagnale Jr. was a renown counterfeiter who did most of his work during the 1960's. He counterfeited for 5 years and over the course of the years he distributed over 2.5 million dollars worth of cheques. He circulated these cheques in all fifty states and in twenty six different countries. He was caught and arrested in France when a travel Agent recognized him from a wanted poster. In 2002, a biography called "Catch me if you Can" staring Leonardo DeCaprio was made to show Abagnale Jr's rise to stardem and his arrest.


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