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Business owners, cashiers need to look out for counterfeit bills

While most individuals and business owners trust the cash they receive as a payment or change from a transaction is legitimate, this may not always be the case. Counterfeit cash has always been a problem, and the amount of false currency in circulation may have grown in the past several years, making it essential for both small-business owners, bank tellers and consumers to be extra vigilant when it comes to determining if bills are legitimate.

Counterfeiting a problem in many areas
The amount of false currency making its way through the U.S. has jumped in recent years, making it increasingly likely shoppers and business owners will see more fake bills in the coming months or years. According to data from the Secret Service, the the amount of counterfeit currency removed from circulation jumped from $79 million in 2008 to $182 million in 2009 and to $261 million in 2010. 

There are multiple ways in which criminals create this money, and readily available advanced technology has made it easier for them to make bills that look real.

According to ABC News, the Secret Service seizes $80 million in illegally printed bills each year. Just several months ago, a massive counterfeiting operation in the Southern U.S. was busted after distributing more than $1.1 million in fake $50 notes. The money spread through Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida before the government finally stopped those responsible for printing fake cash. However, the problem isn't only regional - counterfeit money can be found across the country. Just a month ago, thousands of dollars in false notes were discovered in the streets of a Wisconsin city. The stash of illegally printed bills was handed off to authorities before unsuspecting people who discovered it could inadvertently spend it.

Strong detection systems a must for businesses
Because counterfeiting is such a widespread problem, entrepreneurs need to take the initiative to eliminate the risk of inadvertently accepting fake money. While relying on visual techniques to determine if a bill is real can help a cashier spot some illegally printed money, some counterfeiters have developed such sophisticated techniques, it can be hard to distinguish which payments are legitimate and which are not. This makes it essential for enterprises to have counterfeit detection technology in their currency scanners that will allow them to more easily and efficiently figure out if the bills are legitimate.

July 23, 2013