This Surprising Little Trick Will Help You Find Fake Dollar Bills, Every Single Time!

Apparently, 70 million counterfeit dollars are believed to be in circulation today (Source). So chances are, that you might get one pretty soon. Here’s the ultimate hack to detect fake currency.

How to detect fake currency

Source – Credit Sesame


The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled.


Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals

On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points.



The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.


Serial Numbers

Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.



Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.


Additional Reading – Wiki, Yahoo, Wikipedia.

So, there you have it.



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  • Makes me want to dig out some cash and take a look at it. I can’t help but think that normal wear would kind of make everything look a little fake, because the lines wouldn’t be as sharp and clear.

  • Great info! I can really use this when I sell my books at book signings.

  • Nice infographic. I used to work as a teller for a Bureau de Change when I was at school. As well as looking for the visual and tactile cues described above, we would use an UV torch to spot frauds. It was policy to check all $100 with the UV lamp and a special marker pen.