New money – know its features – know it’s real


400-BENJAMIN-NEW-100-BILLHistoric City News police reports have shown that counterfeit currency is most easily passed in St Augustine and St Johns County when merchants are distracted at the point of sale or fail to check security features included in United States bank notes.

For many years the face of US currency changed very little. With the advent of new printing technologies, security printing measures in place, deemed sufficient in the past, are no longer able to thwart the efforts of skilled counterfeiters who are intent on illegally reproducing our money.

In the first significant design change in 67 years, United States paper money was redesigned to incorporate a series of new counterfeit deterrent features; beginning with the $100 note in 1996, followed by the $50 note in 1997, the $20 note in 1998, and the $10 and $5 notes in 2000.

400-10-8-2013-100-BILL Unfortunately, technology and hubris outpaced the Bureau of Printing and Engraving’s best efforts to protect and maintain confidence in US currency. The Federal Reserve Board announced to Historic City News that on October 8, a redesigned $100 note will begin circulating.

Although introducing new designs helps the government stay ahead of currency counterfeiting, it increases the likelihood that cashiers, clerks and shopkeepers will either not recognize the new bills, or not understand how to effectively use the added safety features — such as a new blue, 3-D security ribbon. Citizens are not required to exchange old bills for new, so businesses will need to be prepared to accurately identify whichever version of the $100 bill is presented for payment.

Know Its Features. Know It’s Real. For material available for your office or place of business that will help you to distinguish authentic bills from high-quality fakes, visit


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