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How to Detect Counterfeit US Money

How to Detect Counterfeit US Money

When you receive money in large denominations, even from the bank, it is a good idea to inspect the bills to make sure that they are not counterfeit. Whether you are using the money for your business, or you simply want to go shopping, you need to know that you aren’t going to be unwittingly passing along counterfeit money. In most cases, cashiers are going to check the bills themselves, but it is better that you know before trying to spend them before you end up having to explain yourself to store security, and the police. Here are some ways that you can detect counterfeit US money.

By Touch

The first thing you should do is feel the bill. The paper used for money is actually made from cotton and linen fibers, and the feel is a lot different than that of regular paper. The printing process is intaglio, meaning that the numbers are slightly raised. You should be able to feel the ink’s texture on the bill. If you run a fingernail along the bill, you should be able to feel ridges in the printing. The paper should feel thinner than regular paper, and it should feel crisper. Whether the bills were printed 50 years ago or last year, they should feel the same.

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By Sight

The next step is to give the bill a close visual examination. Other printers can’t replicate what currency printers can do, so be sure to look for anomalies such as blurring. Look for red and blue fibers embedded in the paper. If they are not there, or they look like they have been printed on the paper, the bill is counterfeit. There should be clear, crisp borders around the bills, and there should be no bleeding in the ink. Be sure to look at the portrait as well. Counterfeit portraits are dull and blurry when compared to real currency. The portrait should stand out and not look like it blends into the background. When using a magnifying glass, you should be able to see “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” printed on each side of the portrait (it looks like a line without a magnifier). Finally, look at the serial numbers. The color should be right, and numbers should be evenly spaced.

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By Security Features

There are a number of security features to look for on currency. All bills except $1 bills have security thread (red plastic strips) running from bottom to top. These should be viewed with a UV light, and the will glow in different colors for different bills ($5 blue, $10 orange, $20 green, $50 yellow, $100 pink). The bill should always read “USA”, followed by the currency amount, which is spelled out on $10 and $20 bills, and written on $5, $50, and $100 bills. With a light source, you should be able to read the inscriptions from the front or back. It is a good idea for small business owners to have counterfeit detector machines which have special lights. Another security feature to look for is the watermark, which bears the image of the person in the portrait on the bill. It is embedded into the paper, and should be visible from both sides of the bill. US currency also has color-shifting ink. If you tilt the bills, you can see the color in the ink change (this is not the case with $5 bills as of yet).

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If you think that you are in possession of counterfeit money, contact the proper authorities immediately. Either take the money directly to a bank to have it inspected, or take it to the police. Handle the bill or bills as little as possible, and write down any information about the bill, such as the date and location you received it. You will also be required to fill out a report through the Secret Service.

Featured photo credit: TBIT via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Want to Get Free Product Samples Like Bloggers and Beauty Gurus Do? Read This.

Want to Get Free Product Samples Like Bloggers and Beauty Gurus Do? Read This.

Imagine receiving a regular supply of free samples through your letterbox?

These free samples by mail could include things such as cleaning products, cosmetics and packaged food.

Free samples are a great way to try out some of the latest products. One week you may have a new toothpaste to try – the next week you may be snacking on a delicious chocolate cookie sample.

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. And by requesting free samples by mail (I’ll show you how shortly), you’ll have not just variety – but fun too!

Tell Me More About Getting Free Samples Sent to My Door!

So, it looks like I’ve caught your interest. That’s great news!

Just before I introduce you to 10 places where you can get free samples by mail, let me clarify a couple of things.

Firstly, all the places I’ll talk about are currently active in sending out free samples to consumers. (In other words, no links to out-of-date or dead pages!)

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Secondly, location is key. If you live in North America, then you’ll have a wide selection of places to sign up to. In other locations (for example, Africa, Asia and Europe), you’ll have fewer choices – but free samples by mail are still a possibility.

Lastly, to whet your appetite for the freebies, here’s a short list of product examples:

  • Pet food.
  • Beauty products.
  • T-shirts.
  • Greeting cards.
  • Wallets.
  • Snack bars.
  • Vitamins.

Free Samples by Mail… Tell Me Where to Get Them!

It’s now time to share my recommendations for the best sites to claim free samples from.

Let’s start with…

#1 SampleSource

    This company sends out boxes of 6-12 free samples about four times a year. Products include baby wipes, cereals and tissues. Register with SampleSource to be notified of the availability of their free samples. (Canada and U.S. only.)

    #2 Influenster

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      As their name suggests, Influenster wants to send free samples to you in exchange for you sharing about the products on your social media accounts. Once you’ve become a member (join for free!), they’ll send you a box of free goodies every few months. The more you share pictures and reviews of the products – the more free samples they’ll send you! (All major territories.)

      #3 PINCHme

        This organization will send you free samples in the hope that you’ll then go out and buy the equivalent full-size products. To receive regular boxes of free food, drink and cosmetic samples (and sometimes coupons), then sign up and create your profile. (U.S. only.)

        #4 House Party

          Thinking of throwing a house party? If yes, then be sure to sign up with this company. They’ll send you a box of ‘themed’ products and services that you can hand out at your party. Register with House Party. Wait for the fun freebies to be mailed to you. And then start sending out your party invites! (Worldwide.)

          #5 YoFreeSamples

            This site is a great resource for a whole host of free samples that can be mailed directly to your door (with no survey requirements!). You’ll find anything from books to perfume, with new offers listed daily. Head over to their site to see what’s currently available. (Mostly U.S., with occasional offers for other countries.)

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            #6 Magic Freebies

              The U.K.’s most popular freebie site. Register for their email newsletter, and they’ll send you a daily email with eight free sample offers. These include products such as disposable razors, dog bowls, and even fake tan! So, what are you waiting for? (U.K. only.)

              #7 SweetFreeStuff

                Since 2002, this simple site has been linking to the best free sample offers currently available. To get started, sign up to their daily email newsletter, which contains links to the latest offers. As well as free samples, SweetFreeStuff also gives information on coupons and deals. (Worldwide.)

                #8 Sample A Day

                  Would you like to receive a notification of a new free sample every day? Well, that’s the promise from this site. They claim to thoroughly research all offers, ensuring there are no catches or hidden surveys! From baby products to socks, this site is sure to have something for you. Registration is super-easy. Simply enter your email address. (Australia, Canada, U.K. and U.S. only.)

                  #9 Pretty Thrifty

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                    This site specializes in free beauty products, but also lets you claim free samples such as energy drinks, snack bars, and even magazine subscriptions. Pretty Thrifty has more than 85,000 followers on social media, so clearly knows how to attract free sample hunters. One thing that makes Pretty Thrifty stand out from most of their competitors, is that their email newsletter is available in daily, weekly and monthly formats. (Mostly U.S., with occasional offers for other countries.)

                    #10 CrazyFree

                      My final tip for getting the best free samples by mail, is Australian company CrazyFree. Their funky website offers big brand free sample offers, which currently include items such as Dolce & Gabbana perfume, Coke Zero, and Happy Dog pet food. To claim the offers, select the free samples you would like, and then complete their registration form. (Australia, U.K. and U.S. only.)

                      Receiving regular free samples by mail is a fabulous way of testing out the latest products on the market (and some that aren’t even on the market yet!)

                      You’ll impress your friends and family with all the free stuff you’ll be receiving. And take it from me… it’s a fun, free and rewarding hobby.

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