How to spot counterfeit cash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

How to spot counterfeit cash

SAN FRANCISCO (KNTV/NBC) - Experts said about one tenth of one percent of all American bills in the world are fakes.

Knowing what real money looks like as opposed to the fakes can be challenging to the untrained eye. So there are six security features you need to look for when trying to figure out if it's real or a fake.

"If you were to pick it up I think the very first thing you would feel is the paper and know that something was not right this paper doesn't feel like my genuine currency does," Secret Service Agent Robert Heyer said.

Key things to look for include red and blue security fibers. You'll need a magnifying glass to really see these.

The portrait of the person should be detailed. The phony bills lack definition. Legit money will have a watermark as well as polyurethane strips embedded into the bill. The fake ones will not.

And one last test: look for the color shifting ink in the bottom right hand corner. It should turn from gold to a darker color.

Cathy Deary never knew about checking for these features, but she knows now.

"I'll never take out large bills, and if by chance I ever have to do that I will tell them they have to run them through the machine before I leave," she said.

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