How to spot counterfeit cash

US Currency Education Program offers tips

While many consumers opt for cash as a way to avoid credit card skimmers and other potential forms of theft, that decision can backfire if they're given counterfeit bills.

Sometimes this funny money is easy to spot, but other times it's difficult to differentiate it from the real deal.

That's why the U.S. Currency Education Program has multiple training materials designed to help consumers and cashiers alike spot fraudulent bills.

Below are some tips the department offers that could help keep you from pocketing counterfeit cash:

1. Feel the paper: Move your fingers across the note to ensure that it feels rough as a result of the printing process and the unique composition of the paper. If it's too smooth, something could be wrong.

2. Tilt the note: When you tilt the bill, you should be able to see the ink in the numbers on the lower right corner change color from copper to green as long as the bill is a newer one and $10 or high denomination. On newer $100 bills, there is also a color-shifting bell in the inkwell and a 3-D security ribbon.

3. Check with light: Hold the bill to a light to check that a watermark and security thread are visible from the front and back. Different bills have different watermarks and security threads, you can see them all here

For more information on how an authentic bill should look and how to spot a counterfeit, visit USCurrency.gov

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