US authorities seize almost one million dollars in counterfeit $1 bills

Destabilization? Not that we are all that stable to begin with. Counterfeit ones are like a nudge. And there’s no telling how many shipments they haven’t caught.

Again, I’m thinking it’s related to a destabilization op. Trickle them out into the system and they will add up. Especially since – as has been pointed out – who checks to see if dollar bills are counterfeit? Is there even a pen for that? Will there have to have to be one now? How much will that cost to roll out?


I thought I read that nowadays counterfeiters were more like manufacturers. Historically some woukd print money, and dispose of it themselves. But more recently, they’ll sell in bulk to middlemen, who likely sell downstream to people who do tge acrptual passing of tge bills. So the printer may get less money, but they get it in large batches. I don’t know where I read this, but I gather the same thing happens now with stolen credit cards, especially when they may just be numbers rather than physical cards.


I’m guessing a low-end retail chain that gives out a lot of ones in change. Most people won’t even look at the ones, so they probably have a lot of transactions before anyone notices, if they ever do.

Weren’t discount stores selling counterfeit/toxic toothpaste? So, cash is an obvious next step.


I used to, uuuhhhh, know a guy, who could get hold of such things, and low-denomination bills cost a lot more to buy proportionately than high ones. Partly due to printing costs, partly due to them being easier to pass.


I dunno, man doesn’t a business passing them out seem even more likely to get sussed out relatively quickly? In order to make any kind of financial sense, they’d have to giving tens of thousands of these bill out as change, with a max of 4 per transaction. All it takes is one person trying to put them in the bank and explaining to the nice treasury officer where they’d recently shopped and the jig is up.

But nothing about counterfeit dollar bills makes sense to me, so who the hell knows?

Maybe? But to truly cause any destabilization, wouldn’t they need to distribute billions of these into the economy. Which I’m not sure would be practically possible to produce/transport/distribute covertly . Just a billion dollar bills is a stack 67 miles high, if Google is to be believed.

And to answer your second question, the banks check. All of these dollars being spent will go immediately from the business to a bank for deposit, where they’d be discovered pretty quickly I would think, especially if being distributed in volume.


Destabilization, or let’s say they wanted it to be caught, now there will be a push for the US to spend money on making $1 more secure. One of the reasons we haven’t is due to the cost. It cost money to make money, oddly.

Or was this going to a criminal network? Granted their use is limited, but at the same time could be very useful for under the radar and save money on operations over all.

I dunno. The world is dark and full of terrors.


I was thinking something along the line of a Johnny Appleseed of counterfeit ones. Spread them, let them be found (in smaller numbers than this), and let the citizens do what they do. By the time they make it to the bank (if they make it that far), that’s a business out money, and out a service or product.

And you say it would take billions, and I repeat, how do we know this is the first and only shipment? I didn’t read the linked article, so I suppose it might say in there. And even if it wasn’t, they would want to say that it was.

My idea is far fetched, but I think it’s an interesting thought.

Right. All the anti-counterfeit steps taken with larger bills is expensive. If someone like a foreign government can push it to where it costs more to implement detection schemes than the bills are worth in the first place, what then?

Add to that the numbers of dollar bills already in circulation that don’t have those schemes woven into them. How many dollar bills are there compared to the other denominations?

Maybe their final destination wasn’t the US, but somewhere further south? Taking them out of country where there would be fewer if any checks but USD value?

Hmm. I’m guessing the ones given out from dollar stores or 7-11s go around a few times before going back to a bank, but you’re right, as soon as someone noticed, it would be easy to track it. And probably a lot of them come back to the same store a few hours later.

Ooh! An inside job! The Mint has been trying to get the $1 coins to take off, but that can’t happen without canning the bills. Too expensive to secure them, we have to drop them.
It’s all about the Jeffersons.


We don’t. But, as I pointed out, producing/transporting/distributing billions of $1 bills would seem to be an impossible task without using the banking system. What kind of businesses doing any sort of meaningful volume of cash transactions would be willing to just accept crates of freshly printed $1’s at a discount without knowing something was up? And if the plan is tor circulate to bodegas and lemonade stands that don’t ask any questions, that makes distribution of that kind of volume seem to be impossible.

I mean, obviously someone was doing this for a reason, and it’s possible that your guess is right, I just don’t see how it actually makes sense given the logistics of the numbers we’re talking about.

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I wonder how long this activity has been going on? How many other counterfeit bills have found their way in? If this is a recent undertaking, then I am immediately suspicious, as this coincides with coronavirus outbreak. Can currency be used as a medium, a vector for bioweapons?

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or someone prepping an epic stock exchange dump


Singles also garner a lot less scrutiny. It’d be easy enough to pass them en masse as change in registers at a cash heavy business.

From what I understand large scale counterfeiters don’t pass their own bills, and certainly not one small transaction at a time. There’s too much risk and it takes too long. Instead they sell bills in bulk to those either looking to pull one over, or people who break up the bundles and sell smaller amounts.

There was a bit there where I ran into a lot of counterfeit singles and fives at NYC food carts. Presumably owners or employees were mixing them into the change as a way to invisibly skim.

At restaurants we would burn through hundreds in singles a day, per register. Even at not particularly busy ones. So you could pull a good chunk of change out in invisible tax free money in a short amount of time if you mixed in counterfeits.


Well 10,000 legal prop $100 bills apparently go for around two grand. That’s less than a quarter a bill.


We should switch to dollar coins to thwart this counterfeiting of $1 bills.


Stripper tips double over night!


I’m a little surprised they’re getting away with these bills, especially as individual bills. A number of prop houses have had their bills confiscated by the secret service. Because even though they say things like for motion picture purposes only or whatnot some people will still try to pass them if they get off set. So at least one prop house has prop stacks that are glued together with a real hundred on top.

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technically true is the best kind of true

I wonder if the detection had anything to do with the fact that at least some boxes had a specimen bill glued to the outside?

It looks from that photo like the notes themselves are the typical “practice counting money” from China that has been popping up all over for the last few years - the stuff is printed with ideograms that have so much un-inked white space that it seems to me it would be evident at a glance that it was not just “chop marks” on the bill.


Prop money is a tricky proposition. To do it legally it has to be immediately clear the money isn’t real. I found that particular thread with a quick reddit search for prop money brands. Apparently it’s kind of a go to, but all of the threads are about how obviously fake the bills are in person.

So it’s probably fine. Friend of mine used to use bills with the Golden Girls in place of the usual faces, and the more realistic ones I’ve seen in person the inks are obviously the wrong color even though they show up close enough on camera, and the paper is completely wrong.

You’d have to be really not paying attention not to catch it. Basically most of this stuff won’t pass face to face, or with too direct of a shot. Clean shots of them mix in actual money where neccisary. You also have glued blocks/boxes for money that doesn’t need to be spread or handled, blank green sheets for filler, one sided bills, all for different situations. With double sided accurate stuff being just for close, direct shots where you need more than you could cover with actual cash.

The companies that have seen seizures got too close with their most realistic bills from what I understand. And most of them got dinged because their props were actually being passed.

For that reason I tend to think deliberate counterfeits have to be cheaper. There’s a lot of liability and covering your ass in selling legitimate prop money. Good counterfeits might cost more to print. But you’re probably running off bigger batches and you’ve got fewer lawyers and insurance companies involved.