In recent years, advanced copying technologies have helped raise the incidence of counterfeiting of the U.S. dollar. As the quality and sophistication of reproduction technology improves, the sophistication and complexity of our currency notes need to improve as well. As a result, the United States government has been adding advanced security features to our paper money, in addition to anticipating the enhancement of the design of the currency every 7-10 years. These changes are the first major design changes to take place for the U.S. currency since 1928.
In the early 1990s, the three most important and easy to check security features were added to the U.S. currency: the watermark, the security thread, and the color shifting ink. These security features are still in use today and continue to be extremely effective in detecting counterfeit money. The most recent change in the design of the currency is the addition of color. The new color of the money is thought to be safer, smarter, and more secure. The most recent bill to be entered into circulation with this new color was the bill on March 2, 2006.
Overall, counterfeiting of U.S. currency remains extremely low. This is due primarily to the combination of improvements in the notes’ security features as mentioned above, aggressive law enforcement, and educational efforts to inform the public about how to verify their currency. According to statistics, the amount of counterfeit U.S. currency worldwide is less than one percent of genuine U.S. currency in circulation.
Most recently, the government has detected a pattern of which counterfeiters bleach the ink off of the bills, and then print counterfeit 0 bills on the paper. This is especially deceiving to the public because of the similar placement of security features on the bills. In response to this, the government has decided to redesign the bill in an attempt to ensure that this problem does not continue into the future.
The best way the public can protect themselves from counterfeit currency is to know the different security features to look for in authentic U.S. currency. The government will continue their worldwide public education program to raise awareness of changes to the U.S. currency and help to protect our money.