How to tell if money is real or fake?

There are several ways to tell if money is real or fake:

  1. Check the texture: Real money is made of a specific type of paper and it should have a unique texture that is difficult to replicate. Run your fingers over the bill, it should feel crisp and new and not slippery.
  2. Inspect the watermark: All U.S. bills have a watermark on them, which can be seen when held up to a light. The watermark is a faint image that is part of the paper and should be visible on both sides of the bill.
  3. Look at the serial number: Serial numbers on real bills are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal and are evenly spaced.
  4. Check the security thread: All U.S. bills, except the $1 and $2 bill, have a security thread embedded into the paper. When held up to a light, the thread glows a certain color.
  5. Check the color-shifting ink: Certain denomination of the U.S. bill have color-shifting ink, like for example the number on the lower right corner on the front of the $100 bill will change color from copper to green when tilted.
  6. Compare with a genuine note: You can compare the suspected fake bill with a genuine note of the same denomination and series.
  7. Check with the authorities: If you suspect a bill to be fake, it’s important to not pass it on, instead you can contact the local police or the U.S. Secret Service.

It’s important to note that counterfeiters are always coming up with new ways to replicate money, so it’s important to be vigilant and examine all bills you receive carefully, even if they appear to be real. Also, it is a crime to make, possess or pass on a counterfeit currency, always report the discovery of a fake bill to the authorities.

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