Can you spot counterfeit notes? New website trains cash handlers to spot fake bills
By Kristi Von Tickner, Vice President / Financial Services Manager, Scott Valley Bank
Those of us in the cash handling business are very familiar with the unique characteristics of all the various currency denominations and we have learned to distinguish a legitimate note from a counterfeit note. Over the years, each note has been uniquely upgraded to deter counterfeiters, but distinguishing between the two can still be somewhat difficult if one doesn’t know what to look for in the design of each note.
The Federal Reserve Board oversees the U.S. Currency Education Program (CEP) and works closely with governing partners (U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing) to raise awareness related to the design and security features of U.S. currency. The Federal Reserve Bank has recently announced the launch of a brand new educational website that provides access to:
  • Training for cash handlers. (Go to Resources, Resource Center to access the online training mod​ule)
  • Quick reference guide for authenticating currency at the point of sale
  • Animated educational videos
The training module within the site is a fun and interactive way to learn or refresh your knowledge of the security features of U.S. currency.
The site is also home to an interesting historic timeline of American currency. For those of us who like the historic aspect of how U.S. currency came to be what it is today, it is worth the quick read.
The answer to the question above is Andrew Jackson, and there are two security features: a watermark that matches that of the note’s portrait, and a security thread that is visible from both sides of the note, which also matches the denomination. I encourage you to visit the CEP site at www.uscurrency.gov and explore the various educational features within. 

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