To help you detect counterfeit currency and guard against
to see a comprehensive Secret Service website entitled "Know Your
Counterfeiting of Money, Bank Cards and Other
International criminal enterprises are increasingly using fictitious
securities and negotiable instruments to defraud the government,
individuals, corporations and financial institutions.
Advanced design, copying and publishing technology is enhancing the
capability to produce high-quality counterfeit currency and financial
instruments such as commercial checks, traveler's checks and money
A new generation of fraudulent alteration or counterfeiting emerged when
computerized color laser copiers became capable of high-resolution
copying, the modification of documents and even the creation of false
documents without benefit of an original. They can easily produce
documents whose quality is indistinguishable from that of authentic
documents except by an expert.
Criminals have used these bogus instruments to obtain government
benefits, underwrite loans, serve as insurance collateral, and defraud
individual investors, pension funds and retirement accounts.
Because of vigorous anti-counterfeiting measures, the amount of
counterfeit currency has dropped precipitously, with passed and seized
counterfeit $100 bills falling from $126 million to $53 million between
1994 and 1997.
Also, the percentage of counterfeit U.S. currency passed in the United
States, that was produced using inkjet color copiers, has jumped from
0.5% in 1995 to 43% in 1998. During the same period, the value of
Canadian counterfeit bank notes passed and seized in Canada was $5.2
million. This was double that of the previous year, and primarily due to
a large counterfeit operation producing $100's. A major investigation
resulting in twelve arrests slowed the activity of this particular
series of counterfeit banknotes.
In fiscal 2001, about 39 percent of the $47.5 million in seized
counterfeit money that entered circulation in the United States was made
using computers or scanners, said Jim Mackin, a Secret Service spokesman
compared to less than 1 percent in 1995.
In 1996, approximately 65% of all counterfeit U.S. currency detected
domestically was produced outside its borders.
The Federal Reserve System estimates that approximately $450 billion of
U.S. currency circulates worldwide and that two-thirds of that currency
circulates outside the country. As the demand for genuine U.S. currency
grows overseas, so will the threat of counterfeiting by foreign
organized crime groups.
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of Persuasion: Schemes, scams, frauds.
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