Retail Shop Using Counterfeit Money Detector To Catch Fake Money

Most of the people think detecting counterfeit money using technological devices is done only at banks. However this is no longer true. As you can see from the photos here, today even normal retail shops in Sri Lanka have started to use technological devices known as counterfeit money detectors to detect fake money. I managed to take these photos of one such deviceĀ for Sri Lanka News Online at a mobile phone selling shop in Ratnapura area.

counterfeit bill detector
This first photo shows the counterfeit detector used at that mobile phone shop. It is actually a very simple device. Primarily it has a surface on which to place the bank note you want to check/detect. Under the surface you got bulbs that emit normal light and ultra-violet light. Once you place a Sri Lanka bank note, US dollar bill or any currency note on the surface, it has the ability to highlight and show hidden watermarks using either the normal white light or the ultra-violet light.

counterfeit money detector
Here in this second photo you can see how a Sri Lanka 2000 Rupee looks like when I kept it on that money detector and switched on the Ultra-violet light. With the help of the blueish ultra violet light you can see some beautiful hidden watermarks and designs in the 2000 rupee note. Some of these designs are visible only when you pass ultra violet light through the note. Counterfeit bank notes don’t have these kind of ultra-violet light watermarks. The retail shop-men who have counterfeit detectors know what ultra-violet light watermarks to look for in different denomination of bank notes. So today they easily identify fake money.
counterfeit money detection

This third photo shows how the same Sri Lankan 2000 Rupee bank note looks like when it is kept on the detector and the normal white light is switched on. Even with this normal light a trained eye can detect several minute details in bank notes that are hard to be counterfeited in bogus money.

Counterfeit money detectors like these are now commonly used by Sri Lanka retail shops and businesses, specially thoseĀ  that handle a lot of bank notes with high value. In fact today retail shops that deposit their money at the end of the day at a bank are forced to use such counterfeit money detector devices. That is because when counterfeit bank notes are detected at Sri Lanka banks they are required to destroy them. So to not risk losing their money when depositing at banks, retail business owners today try to ensure they don’t accept any counterfeit money from customers. They do this by passing all the notes they get through a counterfeit money detector like this. Examples of normal retail shops in Sri Lanka that use this kind of devices in include gold jewellery stores, gem shops and wholesale merchandise shops.

In this picture here you see a 20 rupee Sri Lanka bank note I placed on the money detector when the ultra violet light is on. According to what the shop businessman told me he identifies fake 20 rupee notes by the “20″ mark visible slightly to the left in the center of the note. That “20″ is only visible in ultra-violet light.

Another reason counterfeit detectors are increasing being used is the recent advances in printing technology and its easy availability. Today making fake or counterfeit money has become very easy. To make a passable copy of a Sri Lanka bank note all you need is a computer, a image editing software like Photoshop, a colour printer, a scanner and some quality paper. But counterfeit money made like this though sometimes are clever copies of the original, can be identified in several ways including those mentioned above.

But more than 99% of the people don’t take more than a cursory glance at the bank notes that pass through their hands. So unless we are careful, counterfeiters manage to trick us by slipping in one or two counterfeit bank notes along with several genuine notes and manage to pass them among the general public. This has resulted in lot of counterfeit money circulating among the general population of Sri Lanka. However the Government and the Central bank tries to catch such fake money and destroy them by requiring banks and financial institutions to pass all the bank notes they get through devices like these that have the ability to detect counterfeit money.

 

 

 

12 comments to Retail Shop Using Counterfeit Money Detector To Catch Fake Money

  • It’s amazing all the clever tactics people come up with. Gotta be careful out there…

  • That is so interesting. It is so hard for small businesses to generate traffic and sales. Money that is counterfeit is such a sad situation for a business owner.

    • so true Sally, bank tellers in Sri Lanka for example are told to confiscate any counterfeit note they come across and notify true proper channels. In such cases even if the person who brought the counterfeit bank note is innocent and had no idea they had a fake note he or she loses that notes, denominated amount of money. So when small business owners bank there money and one high value note turns out to be a counterfeit note it can be a loss of hours or even a day’s hard work. they need to be extra vigilant these times.

      I hear Thousand rupee Sri Lanka bank notes are the most common type that is counterfeited these days.

  • Ionut Popa

    Is there a version of this that is capable of scanning bulk bills? So you can scan your cash before heading to town? It would seen a good idea

    • There are counterfeit money identifiers for scanning dozens to hundreds of bills. They are usually inbuilt into money counters like the one’s you find in banks. However they are much more expensive than this simple manual detector you see in these pictures.

  • I’ve seen the simple pens used to draw a stripe on the currency, but I didn’t know how much the technology has evolved. It’s too bad that people are so obviously smart and talented have to use their wits to do something bad such as counterfitting money. What a waste of talent!

    • By pens you must be meaning counterfeit currency detector pens like Dri Mark Counterfeit Money Detector Pens. Yes, the technology has evolved a lot. This kind of money detecting using ultra violet light is much more accurate than those counterfeit money detector pens. However it can take more time if you rely soled on manual devices like you see in the above photos. As for the people making counterfeit money, its very sad they use their talent in that can bring harm to them and the society.

  • Mohamed

    This is very a serious matter today in Sri Lanka. You have to be specially careful about 1000 rupee notes these days.

    I heard recently a tuition sir in Kandy has been arrested for printing 1000 rupee counterfeit currency notes. He is said to have printed 6 million worth of 1000 rupee notes. He use to print the fake notes using 3 laser printers and then passed them to several people who he used as agents. The agents used to pass them onto normal circulation. He had even managed to print the watermarks in the notes. It is very difficult to catch these notes.

  • This is one of the reasons US currency is printed on a special paper that you pretty much have to steal from the mint to obtain. Now that printers and copy machines are capable of making copies so detailed and perfect that even experts are fooled, it is more than ever going to depend on the paper, and the special inks and metal strips, and other methods of deterring counterfeiting.

    • Susan, Like in US dollar bills, Sri Lankan rupee notes are also printed on special paper with special inks and metal strips included. So producing a exact replica of Sri Lanka bank bills that passes detection on even a simple manual counterfeit bill detector like the above device is very rare and almost as difficult as counterfeiting US dollar bills.

      The pressing problem we face now is, counterfeiters are not trying make exact replicas or even close to it, but they just try to make fake notes that don’t look too different at a glance and pass it on to unsuspecting people. Many busy people like bus conductors or and cashiers of busy shops get hoodwinked to fake notes because they don’t have the time and will only take a glance at the notes they get.

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