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How to Tell if a Dollar Bill is Real – Our Tips

Counterfeit money costs small businesses around the US millions of dollars every single year. Whether you’re a wholesaler, restaurant owner, or manager, it’s vital that you make sure any cash you accept is legitimate. In this article, we’ll explain how to tell if a dollar bill is real.

We’ll cover the various features to check, some best practices to adhere to, and how to make sure every dollar you take can actually enter your bank account!

How to Tell if a Bill is Counterfeit – What to Look Out for

The specific features to look out for when checking for fake bills will depend on their date of issue. In general, it’s a good idea to compare any bill you’re scrutinizing with one that you’re sure is genuine.

This way, you'll be able to notice inconsistencies much faster. It’s a good idea to keep a legitimate bill of every denomination on-hand that can quickly be accessed every time you want to check.

We list some of the main things to think about below:

Check for Colored Fibers

All US bills feature tiny flecks of red and blue throughout the entire bill. In genuine bills, these flecks form part of the paper itself. Counterfeiters sometimes try to print or draw these on individually. Close inspection with a magnifying glass should reveal whether they’ve been printed on (fake) or are part of the bill itself.

Bill Texture

Testing the texture of a bill is a great way to tell if it’s real or not. It may take some practice at first, but it’s a fantastic way to quickly spot a fake if you know what you’re doing. If you’re holding a genuine dollar bill, it will have ink that is slightly raised from the surface of the paper.

You can notice this raised ink by holding the bill under a magnifying glass. Alternatively, you should be able to feel this raised texture with your fingers. Compare the texture of the bill you’re scrutinizing with your reference bill. If you’re even slightly unsure, it’s a good idea to proceed with caution.  

Check the Serial Numbers

Do the serial numbers on the bill you’re checking match? Are the digits of said serial numbers evenly spaced? A genuine bill will have matching, evenly spaced serial numbers that are perfectly aligned. If you’re checking multiple bills and you notice that they all have the exact same serial number, you’ve been handed counterfeit cash.

Check Printing Details

Legitimate dollar bills are printed using closely guarded techniques that aren’t possible for most counterfeiters. In particular, check the portraits, edges, and details of any bill you’re scrutinizing. A real bill will have crisp, sharp details and won’t appear dull or blurry anywhere.

While we’re on the subject of portraits, run your fingernail over the portrait vest on any bill you’re checking. You should be able to feel a series of distinct ridges. It’s virtually impossible to replicate these ridges so they’re a pretty strong indication that a bill is genuine.

How to Tell if a Dollar Bill is Real – Helpful Resource

Looking to learn more about testing for counterfeit bills? We think this resource from the University of Cornell is excellent. The reality is that it can be alarmingly difficult to spot a fake if you don’t have the training or experience required.

One alternative that’s trusted by small business owners around the world is a money counter machine.

A Money Counter Machine – The Fastest Solution

If your business handles a high volume of cash, you’re exposing yourself to serious losses if you don’t ensure you’re validating any bills you accept. A high-quality money counting machine will come equipped with everything you need to receive cash with confidence.

Our line of cash counting machines are easy to use, efficient, and some of the most affordable in the industry. They come preprogrammed with a plethora of counterfeit-spotting features that are designed to give you 100% peace of mind.

They can also dramatically improve your cash counting and sorting speeds, helping to free up critical staff hours that can be implemented elsewhere.

Get Your Own Money Counter Machine Today!

If you’re worried about counterfeit bills at your business, pick yourself up a RIBAO money counter machine today. It will transform your approach to cash overnight.  

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