It is often said that the act of counterfeiting money is as old as money itself. No matter the type of currency used throughout history – whether it was the metal coins used in Lydia in 640BC or the cowry shells that were used as currency in Orissa, India until 1805 – there was sure to be someone intentionally attempting to pass off a counterfeit version as the real thing.
Since the beginning of the year, 7 states have issued updated versions of state identification cards - i.e.: driver licenses and identification (ID) cards - to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act.
Chip-enabled (EMV) credit cards are designed to be more secure than magnetic stripe cards because the ability of the chip to create dynamic, single-use data that is nearly impossible for fraudsters to counterfeit. At least, that is how the main advantage of EMV credit cards was touted by the consortium of card-issuing banks and other institutions that had been suffering billions of dollars of losses for years leading up the October 1, 2015 deadline for US businesses to adopt the new EMV standard.
Identity Theft continues to rank as the fastest growing form of fraudulent crime
A recent report by CIFAS - a not-for-profit company working to protect businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals from financial crime – revealed that prolific users of social media had experienced a 57% increase in incidences of misuse of their personally identifying information over last year. All because fraudsters were able to scrape their victims’ important personal data straight from social media profiles. Information such as birthdates, mother’s name, addresses, former residences and more can all be a key part of building an identity profile sufficient to enable access to accounts or the creation of new ones.
An estimated 9 million American identities are stolen each year – it’s no wonder why identity theft is the #1 complaint amongst American consumers, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Although dealing with identity theft and fraud is akin to addressing the elephant in the room – no one wants to do it – it is becoming increasingly important that businesses, particularly those in the banking industry, take the lead in providing fraud prevention solutions for their customers, lest they want to miss out on profiting from the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers: the Millennials.
Millennials, unlike previous generations, live and breathe technology. And this coupled with the fact that rampant rates of identity theft and fraud have left American consumers – no matter which generation they’re from – fearing identity theft the most whenever they’re online, means that preventing and addressing security concerns needs to be a priority when attempting to attract this upcoming technology-dependent generation as customers.
Mobile Identity Authentication
Many potential business-cases point to the desire to have an identity authentication solution available as a mobile application on a smart phone or tablet. In some cases, it simply isn’t feasible to have a stationary device, tethered to a PC, available at the location where authentications must occur. In other cases, it may be desirous to have a client that is not in your physical store or branch location conduct an identity authentication wherever they are – which might be in their home, at a hotel, or even walking on the street.
Just a little over 5 months into 2016 and there are already multiple discoveries of counterfeit money operations, several of which had produced over $1 million in counterfeit money.
The following is a list of the top 5 counterfeit money stories so far this year, starting with the largest counterfeit money operation. At the end of this list, there are a bonus 3 counterfeit money stories. These stories do not involve large counterfeit money operations, rather, they are used to highlight that counterfeit money can appear anywhere, anytime, from anyone, not matter how small the amount.
It should be noted that these counterfeit money stories are those that have been disclosed – there are likely many more counterfeit money operations yet to be discovered or publically disclosed.
Ever since the signing of an armistice in 1953 that put a stop to the fighting in the Korean War, North Korea and its activities has more or less been a mystery to the world. What little is known about the country is inherently grim: the county is internationally considered to be one of the worst offenders when it comes to human rights and continually tops the list of the “World’s Most Isolated Countries.”
Even lesser known than human rights atrocities is exactly how North Korea funds its economy. Although North Korea participates in legal economic activities, such as selling natural resources, analysts agree that the level of these legal activities is nowhere near enough to sustain a country the size of North Korea. Indeed, there has been evidence that North Korea has been profiting from the illegal drug trade for several decades.
Eventually, in a search to find more sources of income, North Korea figured out something that counterfeiters around the world have already figured out: manufacturing counterfeit money is much more profitable and less risky than producing and selling drugs.
And thanks to the fact that North Korea has physically segregated itself from the rest of the world, they directed their efforts to counterfeit money production - without the rest of the world catching on – and got good, really good at making counterfeit money. So much so that when North Korean counterfeit bills slipped into foreign circulation, no one was the wiser; and when the world finally did catch on, they were dubbed as “supernotes” – because they were so good that they were virtually indistinguishable from real money to all but the most sophisticated of counterfeit detection equipment.
And that is a major problem.
On April 20, Jacob J. Lew, the Secretary of the Treasury, announced that a redesign of the $20 bill will feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front of the bill, moving Andrew Jackson to the back of the bill. In addition, the $5 bill and the $10 bill will be redesigned. The back of the new $5 bill will feature Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and opera singer Marian Anderson. The back of the new $ 10 bill will feature the Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913 and five women suffrage movement leaders.
For decades, Colombia was known as the world leader in counterfeit money production. For the last several years, however, thanks to the collision of a variety of factors, Peru has overtaken Colombia as the counterfeit money production leader of the world. In a nutshell, Peruvian counterfeiters have access to cheaper materials and labor, are subjected to law enforcement and regulations that are, in comparison, more lax and less effective, and, by all accounts, are simply more meticulous when it comes to counterfeit money production than anyone else.