Counterfeit Bills?

Has accepting counterfeit bills been an issue for you? Do you have ongoing issues with counterfeit bills or an isolated incident here and there?

If it has been an issue what steps have been successful in preventing the acceptance of counterfeit money?

The embedded stripe inside the larger bills will glow from a blacklight. So maybe a small battery operated fluorescent blacklight at the register that they can pass the bills over to verify the stripe. Also, the stripe tells what denomination the bills are as well, and is less awkward looking than holding every bill up to the light to check the stripe. Be cautioned though, and mostly for your female employees, blacklight and some clothing can make for an embarrassing situation…

Thanks Stebby. I will make a note of that!

Have you have many problems with counterfeit bills?

I am getting ready to open a new store and I am trying to assess whether this is something I need to worry about?

Most biz around here won’t even accept $100 bills. After I got my first fake one, I didn’t go that far, but now we won’t accept $100’s without writing down number of the bill, plus name and Drivers License number of customer presenting it. ( A well-known customer we just write name only). We retain those numbers for only 7 days…until we know that bill has hit the bank. (We’re talking pen and paper only, no computers or POS involved) (That seems to calm some of our more paranoid customers)

I didn’t have any problems that I know of. Its been a few years since I’ve been in the biz but I try to keep up with it. Im mainly focused now on country clubs/bar stuff, and the blacklight is something ive come across in that industry. Havent seen it first hand yet, but might just go find a blacklight and give it a whirl… Personally I think just a small blacklight that you can lay on the counter when you’re busy that you can just pass a bill over quickly to see if the stripe glows is the direction I’m headed.

No issue. Never heard of it happening here.

Just get a counterfeit-bill detector marker. Office supply store should carry them.

Run it across the bill. Marks yellow on legit currency cloth, turns black on counterfeit paper.

I can’t remember getting more than 1 or 2 fake notes in all my nearly 20 years of business though. Not something we really worry about unless the “word is out” that someone is passing bad bills.

We have been spared too much trouble from counterfeit bills. We have only had one fake $10.00 in 12 years. Other businesses in our area have been hit with fake $50.00’s and $100.00’s so I guess we have just been lucky. One Monday morning about a year or so ago the teller in the commercial section of the bank showed us about a dozen counterfeit hundreds that all came in that morning in business deposits. Our bank is pretty good about alerting us what is being passed in the area and what to look for.
I teach all my employees to check the color shifting ink in the lower right corner of the newer bills. Of all the fake bills the bank has shown us, none of them have this feature. It is easy to check without being too obvious. We also have the pens they sell at Staples to check bills. I honestly don’t recall ever rejecting a bill because it was questionable so as I said, we have been lucky.


I’ve have 4 or 5 in about 5 years. One was a washed out 5 made to look like a 100 so the pen didn’t work on it (it was a pretty good fake, but the face wasn’t there so upon careful inspection, it could hvae still been found). They have pens with the black light on them now, we use that for most of the bigger bills. We got a fake 5 once, it wans’t a very good one but it was busy… I mean, a 5 though, something you don’t expect.

Thanks everyone. I think this gives me enough to go on a starting point. It has been a few years since I have operated a shop and the amount of vigilance being practiced by retail businesses sure has increased greatly since then. My original bank for my business wanted to charge me a percentage on my cash deposits, citing the increased rate of counterfeiting - they are no longer my bank, btw.

Given this increased attention, I was trying to gauge whether the incidence rate had increased at the same rate. Based on the responses here, it sounds like a pretty familiar climate for me. We may occasionally have an issue, but it isn’t something we should deal with on a daily basis. I will put some basic controls and best practices in place, but I am not going to sweat it too much.

“My original bank for my business wanted to charge me a percentage on my cash deposits, citing the increased rate of counterfeiting”

Does that mean that they would absorb the loss of a counterfeit bill if you deposited one? Otherwise that policy full of it!

Fair point, but no they did not absorb any of the losses. They named a number of reasons, one of which was the counterfeit issue. They also defended the policy by saying it took a teller time to verify the count on the deposit. Although, I am sure they have and use a machine for that.

I have to acknowledge that the fee was very minimal. I cannot remember the exact percentage but I believe I figured it would cost me anywhere from 10-50 dollars a month. I explained I was going to be operating a primarily cash business and that would not work for me. They did not budge, so I moved all of my accounts to a local credit union. It seemed like every time I turned around they were looking to charge me something that had no basis in reality, this was simply the final straw.

We go 3 or 4 months with no issues and we then get 3 or 4 counterfeit bills in one month. Sometimes 10’s sometimes 20’s, and once it was a $50. Just a cost of doing business. Still a lot cheaper than getting skalped by the credit card processing companies.

I went with a credit union, I haven’t paid a dime for any banking since I opened two years ago. I remember shopping banks and CU’s… it was a headache. Glad I found a good one.

I had a banker state once that they get lots of fake bills when the county and state fairs roll into town… and almost each year I’ve gotten one during this time.

We had a rash of incidents around town about two months back, I was checking the police logs in the paper and 4 or 5 reports a day from various stores and food joints. One guy came in to use the phone one afternoon, he left his wallet behind. I noticed a rather green 20 poking out of it and opened it to find many counterfeit bills. Turned it over to the police and he was captured not long after. His id and everything was in there. Oops.