US Counterfeit Currency – Where is it Coming From?

  • US Secret Service says the number one producer of counterfeit US currency is Peru.
  • Iran and North Korea are on the list of large US money counterfeiters.
  • Every fourth 100 dollar US bill in Ukraine is fake.

The US Constitution gives Congress the power to “coin money and regulate the value thereof.” Currently, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces paper money in two locations: Washington D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas. The money printed by the US government facilities are the only ones that are legit paper currency. According to the Federal Reserve, up to 80% of US paper currency ends up outside of the US, equivalent to 2.5 trillion US dollars.

There is an unexplained disappearance of $1.5 trillion in US papery currencies. Furthermore, the counterfeit market for US dollars is lucrative and larger in comparison to all the other paper currencies of the world. The main markets for printing counterfeit US currency are Iran, Syria and North Korea. However, the US secret service claims Peru is number one. Ukraine makes the list too. Every fourth 100 dollar paper bill in Ukraine is counterfeit.

Historically, Operation Bernhard (in 1939) was a Nazi Germany project to forge British banknotes, counterfeit currencies. Originally, the project was dubbed “Andreas.” A the time the British pound was the reserve currency and was used as a main international payment method. The banknotes were produced in the Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 until the end of the Third Reich in May 1945.

The IS has an issue with domestic counterfeit currency production as well, but on a small scale. The most popular counterfeit currency is a 20 dollar US bill. Interestingly, Iran and Russia accuse the US of sending counterfeit currency to Iraq. This is yet another social engineering propaganda effort using anti-US rhetoric.  Russia likes to claim there are almost no counterfeit US dollars in their country. That is of course not true.

The US federal reserve website contains an explanation on how to detect counterfeit currency. The best way to determine whether a note is genuine is to rely on the security features, such as the watermark and security thread. Counterfeit detection pens are not always accurate and may give you false results.

The final party who makes a determination, if in fact the US paper currency is fake, is the Federal Reserve. It is the highest authority that can make the determination, including if the same serial numbers are issued by them or they are counterfeit. There is no possibility of appeal from a Federal Reserve decision, when such a call is made.

A lot of US fake currency is printed for the purposes of supporting terrorism and totalitarian regimes. The US has stringent jail sentences for being involved the practice.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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