Cash counters give businesses a way to safeguard themselves against counterfeit bills. Passable imitations of U.S. currency have been entering circulation, and this places companies at risk if they accidentally accept fake money.
In fact, counterfeiting is on the rise. Between 2012 and 2013, arrests related to producing fake bills increased by 49 percent. Because of the accessibility of laser printers, it's become far easier for individuals to create illegitimate currency at home.
Three Baltimore women were recently arrested after purchasing high-value electronics from Wal-Mart with counterfeit money and then attempting to return the items for legitimate currency, according to Carroll County Times, a Maryland-based publication. This issue is highly problematic for businesses because they are stuck with the loss if they accept fake bills.
Additionally, a Montreal man was released in Canada after surrendering a large quantity of fake $20 U.S. bills, ABC News reported. Frank Bourassa had a somewhat more sophisticated operation than many people who make fake money with a laser printer. He convinced paper mills in Germany in Switzerland to create a replication of the cotton and linen paper used to print U.S. bills and found ink suppliers in China, rendering the fake currency nearly undetectable to the eye. Bourassa's $20 bills were first discovered in Michigan in 2010, and authorities were searching for him until this year. He printed bills with non-consecutive serial numbers to avoid detection and sold the money to criminal organizations.
Money counters help businesses detect fake bills
These examples highlight the need for businesses to take counterfeit prevention seriously. Although security features were added to $20 bills to better prevent counterfeit in 2003, the design of the bills has not been updated since that time, ABC News stated. Bourassa also claimed U.S. bills were easy to replicate because they are not printed on polymer, unlike other countries.
While advanced operations like Bourassa's are not as common, individuals can create convincing replicas with a laser printer. Considering counterfeiting is on the rise, companies should take this threat seriously. In the past when counterfeiting was limited primarily to large-scale groups with a printing press, the accessibility of home printers has significantly increased the risks. A bill only needs to change hands once. If a company accepts fake money, it will lose the value of the bill. Cash counters give businesses a simpler way to detect counterfeit money.
June 16, 2014