Paper Money

How you can learn counterfeit detection online

When it comes to counterfeiting, we devote most of our attention to the technologies of production — in the substrates notes are printed on, the printing process itself, the many innovative modern techniques used to thwart nefarious users of modern technology, and the public relations programs used by central banks. We don’t often notice efforts by the private sector.

One such venture is “Counterfeit Detection 2016 – Counterfeit Detection Training for Individuals and Organizations” being offered by Counterfeit Forensics LLC, a Herndon, Va., company founded by Joel Zlotnick, a former U.S. Secret Service forensic scientist.

The firm claims to offer a low-cost online solution for a problem that it says is so great that in 2013 alone, the Secret Service seized $156 million worth of fake paper currency for which, it points out, according to United States law, there is no reimbursement for victim’s losses. 

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The course covers, among other things, U.S. paper money designs, watermarks, security threads, color shifting ink, and the security ribbon. It then describes some of the available tools — detection pens, ultraviolet lights and their use with security threads and paper, and magnifiers and microprinting.

According to the company, someone taking the course can learn how to detect a counterfeit note in about 45 minutes.

U.S. counterfeit Federal Reserve notes   Made in the USA: ‘Good’ counterfeits also made domestically: The famous North Korean supernotes and the recent rise of Peru as a center for counterfeiting United States paper money may cause us to forget that some nearly as good counterfeiting has been done on native shores.

It is possible to sample some of the elements of the interactive course here. The sample course elements involve watermarks and current designs of Federal Reserve notes.

Pricing for the course on a corporate level is $18 per seat.

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