HOW DO SAFESCAN’S COUNTERFEIT DETECTORS WORK?
Safescan offers a range of counterfeit detectors to fit every budget and need, from simple detectors that let you manually inspect a single bill feature (such as ultraviolet or magnetic marks) all the way to sophisticated, automated multi-point detection technology. Let’s take a look under the hood.Visit shop
WHAT CURRENCIES ARE THE MOST COUNTERFEITED?
In absolute terms, the US dollar is the world’s most counterfeited currency. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago estimates that approximately 1 counterfeit bill is in circulation for every 10,000 bills of genuine currency. Combining this estimate with the total amount of paper currency in circulation from the Federal Reserve, there are approximately 130 million counterfeit US Dollars in circulation at any time. Percentage-wise, the British pound sterling is in the lead. The euro is also a prime counterfeiting target; since its introduction in 2002, the amount of counterfeit currency in circulation in Europe has steadily risen each year.
HOW MUCH DOES COUNTERFEITING COST BUSINESS OWNERS?
Counterfeiting is estimated to cost US businesses $200 billion annually. Accepting counterfeit money is a real threat that every entrepreneur faces. The best protection is an active anti-counterfeit policy at the point of sale.Visit shop
HOW DOES THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT PROTECT BILLS FROM COUNTERFEITING?
All counterfeit detectors rely on sophisticated security features that central banks deliberately insert into bills. These features begin with special treasury paper, which is either a cotton-linen blend or, increasingly, polymer-based. Central banks then design each bill to contain complex ultraviolet ①,magnetic ② ③, infrared ④, color ⑤, and holographic features. In many currencies, each bill type (or denomination) also has a unique, very specific size ⑥, thickness ⑦, and weight, to combat bill bleaching (where counterfeiters bleach a genuine low-value bill and print a higher-value counterfeit on the same paper).
HOW DOES ULTRAVIOLET DETECTION WORK?
Every modern bill contains ultraviolet (UV) ink with fluorescent phosphors that cannot be seen in daylight ①, but are clearly visible under UV light at a wavelength of 365 nanometers. UV detectors like the Safescan 40, 50 and 70 let you place a bill under a bulb emitting UV light at the correct wavelength and visually verify that it contains UV marks ②. Higher-end detectors such as the Safescan 2600 series automatically identify the UV features in modern bills using sophisticated UV and photonics sensors.Visit shop
HOW DOES MAGNETIC DETECTION WORK?
The Treasury Department uses ferromagnetic ink—which comes in many colors—to print bills with complex magnetic patterns that don’t look any different to the naked eye. It also weaves metallic thread into its bills, in specific sizes and locations. Manual magnetic detectors can help you weed out simple fakes that don’t contain magnetic ink or thread. Higher-end detectors such as the Safescan 165 and 2600 series can catch even sophisticated counterfeits: they are programmed to identify the specific thread and ink patterns unique to each supported currency and denomination using multiple magnetic sensors.
HOW DOES INFRARED DETECTION WORK?
Today’s bills are printed with inks that exhibit special behavior under light in the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum. There are two kinds of IR ink: ink that reflects IR light (glows), and ink that absorbs IR light (turns black). Both are invisible in normal daylight and can only be detected by special devices. Manual IR detectors such as the Safescan 235 let you visually inspect how a bill responds to IR frequencies; automated detectors such as the Safescan 155, 165, and 2600 series automatically identify the specific IR response patterns unique to each supported currency and denomination, using a series of IR reflecting and IR absorbing sensors.Visit shop
HOW DOES SPECTRUM ANALYSIS WORK?
The Treasury Department prints each bill with colored inks in complex patterns that are unique to each denomination. Sophisticated counterfeit detectors such as the Safescan 165-S automatically scan the bill being tested using a highly sensitive spectrum sensor, then compare the scan with the correct image stored in memory.
WHAT IS THE SUPERDOLLAR?
The term superdollar refers to an extremely high-quality counterfeit US $100 bill. Today more than 20 varieties of superdollar have been identified by experts; all of them use highest-quality inks printed on a cotton-linen blend and recreate many security features found in the genuine US $100 bill. To combat the phenomenon, the US Federal Reserve issued a new $100 bill in 2013 that incorporates a blue ribbon with hard-to-replicate holographic features.
WHAT IF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT MAKES CHANGES TO A BILL?
The Treasury Department is constantly working to improve bill security as new techniques emerge. Safescan’s currency management team keeps abreast of these developments and updates our detection software as soon as new bills are announced. We notify you when an update is ready; all you have to do is install it using the USB port ① or microSD slot ② on the back of your Safescan device. When the new note enters circulation, your Safescan detector will be ready for it.