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.
Counterfeit money has been around as long as authentic money. Even some of the very first western coins were not exempt from counterfeiting, and realistic-looking plated copies have been found. Prior to paper money, counterfeiting was actually quite time-consuming and involved mixing nearly worthless base metals with genuine silver or gold. With the advent of paper money, counterfeiting became easier and more profitable. Today’s fraudsters simply need the right kind of paper, a good printer and decent computer graphics skills to print their own fake bills.
Employees tasked with running cash registers and point of sale (POS) systems are a store’s first defense against check and currency fraud. Training point of sale employees to detect fraudulent identity documents, counterfeit money, and other problematic materials is an essential part of bolstering a company’s resistance to loss and theft. However, even the best training programs cannot take the place of specially designed fraud resistance equipment. Items like counter-mounted ultraviolet lights provide valuable support in loss prevention and company security.
Topics: fraud protection tips, retail fraud, counterfeit money, fake money, counterfeit fraud, counterfeit detection, fraud prevention protection, counterfeit fraud prevention, counterfeit money detectors, fraud prevention
Recently, a news story was featured on CBS 2 News Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that highlights the circulation of counterfeit money that has targeted the area. The town is not exactly the type of market we imagine counterfeit currency thieves to target. We typically associate such a crime with large markets and big scale merchants. The Lion Bridge Brewing Company was the targeted business that had discovered that they had accepted counterfeit bills.
The holiday season is nearing meaning the busiest time of the year for retail businesses is arriving. This is the time of the year in which spending increases but also the times of the year when businesses are more susceptible to transactional fraud in the form of counterfeit currency, counterfeit credit cards and identity theft. It is important that your business is prepared to handle the influx of transactions that will come at this time of year and the possible fraudulent vulnerabilities that business are susceptible to during this season.
Black market websites, located in the “deep web” are known for supplying sophisticated criminals- typically hackers- with information that will allow them to compromise a person’s identity. Personal information is typically the main commodity on such sites although, it is common to see transactions for illegal drugs, credit card data, malware, and spyware and in some extreme cases, even contracts for murder have been bought and sold on the deep web.
Peru Supplies 1/3 of all Counterfeits in U.S.
Last month Peruvian authorities, in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service confiscated $2.3 million dollars in fake money that was destined to enter the U.S. These fake $50 and $100 dollar bills were hidden inside Peruvian souvenirs destined for the United States. The techniques used by these counterfeiters to smuggle the money into the U.S. are similar to those used by drug traffickers: hiding their contraband in unique places to avoid detection.
Authorities say that the Quispe Rodriguez crime family, headed by the notorious crime boss Joel Quispe Rodriguez, are the master minds behind this latest resurgence of counterfeiting. Nearly all of the major busts within Peru have come from San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima Peru's largest district and the home of some of the largest crime families.
Knowing how to spot fake money is a skill that every cash handler should know. With advances in desktop publishing and laser printer technology, creating counterfeit money is becoming easier and easier - and thus, more accessible to a larger number of people willing to risk jail for a few dollars. The most common amateur counterfeits are usually 20s and 100s.
Many of our customers ask us - Why is the UV security feature on the $100 bill more difficult to see than it is on the other denominations?