A new video podcast series released by the United States government is aimed at helping businesses and consumers protect themselves against counterfeit currency.
Initially created for the website NewMoney.gov – a site used to educate the public about the new $100 US bill – the podcasts are a visual resource in which people can learn about security features found on US currency.
The videos are an interactive way to “know about the security features so that if you have a reason to doubt that the note you’re about to accept is real, you know what to look for to verify its authenticity,” says Kenneth Jenkins, the US Secret Service Criminal Investigative Special Agent in Charge and host of the podcast.
This week, the government released the second video in the series that explains how to identify security features not only on the new $100 note, but also on other US denominations.
Kelley Harris, US Secret Service Supervisory Counterfeit Specialist, takes the viewer through an extensive tour of security features such as the portrait watermark, the security thread that varies in colour and location depending on denomination, the colour shifting ink that changes the colour of a bill’s denomination when tilted, microprinting and raised printing.
These features are key to deterring counterfeiters from creating bogus bills and are also key to helping the public identify if a bill is counterfeit or not. Raised printing for example, says Harris, is one of the hardest things for counterfeiters to reproduce but also one of the easiest features for the average person to detect.
“Because digital technology is so inexpensive and so widely available counterfeiters have a lot more tools at their disposal,” says Harris. “A lot of these tools will help replicate the overall image and look of the bill itself but what they aren’t able to do is replicate a lot of those security features that we’ve talked about.”
Another security feature the podcast points out is small letters and numbers scattered through the front and back of the banknote that provides very specific information about the printing plate used to create the note as well as identifies from which reserve bank the note was issued.
At least three more video podcasts are planned and will touch on topics such as the art of banknote design, the printing printing process and the lifecycle of a note in circulation.
Download the most recent podcast HERE.