“I made it in my basement!”
We’ve all made that same dumb joke whenever a cashier checks to make sure our money is real (even though it’s never met with more than a sarcastic chuckle).
All joking aside, the counterfeiting industry is an increasingly large industry that bilks millions of dollars from honest individuals around the world.
In the first half of 2015 alone, over ￡2.3 million was taken out of circulation across the globe. While you’ll notice cashiers checking for security features when paying with larger bills, ￡10 and ￡20 notes are the most commonly counterfeited.
Speaking of security measures, the increase in printing technology has actually aided counterfeiters. Old-fashioned counterfeiting techniques are being used in conjunction with digital printing technology to allow criminals to easily doctor existing bills to appear to be worth more than they really are.
Counterfeiters don’t stop at money, either.
Millions of dollars worth of art, paintings, and other collectibles have been subject to forgery throughout history. Most recently, cases involving phony copies of works by Matisse and Andy Warhol have come to light. Other items such as Pokemon and baseball cards are not immune from potential forgery.
Perhaps most frightening is the idea that over 30,000 fake IDs and passports are currently in circulation at this very moment. Unfortunately, it’s becoming easier and easier for someone to steal your identity without ever coming into contact with you.
And who knows what the future holds? Phony documents and products are becoming easier and easier to make, so officials need to be more diligent than ever. But the real problems lie in the newest mainstream technology: 3D printing. Not only can art be replicated with relative ease, but guns and ammunition are also becoming easier and easier to reproduce.
Hopefully, those who are sworn to protect the public can stay ahead of the technology these criminals are using to gain an advantage with each passing day.
Infographic source: Cartridge Discount
Featured photo credit: Counterfeits and Copies / Cartridge Discount via cartridgediscount.co.uk