The advantage of paying in cash is that you can pay in confidence. Indeed, cash flows from hand to hand and it is therefore difficult to trace its origin in contrast to payments by credit card or bank transfer that leaves an electronic footprint. Unfortunately, some malevolent people put into circulation counterfeit notes that debunk the reliability of cash payment. What if you own a fake bill and how do you recognize a fake bill from a real bill so you won’t be fooled in the future?

  • How do I recognize a real banknote from a counterfeit banknote?

It is important to make the difference between a real banknote and a counterfeit one. If you have a counterfeit note, it is forbidden to put the counterfeit note in circulation and you must give it to your bank. It is therefore better not to be fooled and to know how to recognize a counterfeit note from a real note in order not to accept a counterfeit note that a merchant or an individual might offer you.

But how do you recognize a counterfeit note and know if you have a real or counterfeit note in your hands? To find out if your banknote is a real banknote, only one method, the T. R. I method: touch, Look, Tilt. This method consists of detecting security features to distinguish a counterfeit banknote from a real banknote without special equipment:

  • Touch the note to perceive the surface relief on the architecture, letters, numbers and a series of small lines on the edges. The paper is firm and crunchy; you can hear it crack in the ear
  • Look at the banknote to see the watermark (drawing that appears in transparency), the euro constellation (shaped like rings), the security thread, the holographic stripe with the portrait window (which becomes transparent and makes the portrait of Europe appear).)
  • Tilt the note to observe the emerald number in the lower left corner (from emerald green to deep blue), the portrait hologram (silver band on the right) with the portrait window of the Phoenician princess Europe with rainbow reflections.

There are other, more subtle signs that make it possible to recognize a counterfeit banknote from a real banknote, but you need to be armed with a magnifying glass (to observe the micro-letters) or with a standard UV, UV-C or infrared lamp.

Checking one to one of the banknotes to see if a banknote is a counterfeit can be tedious, which is why you can also use a pen detector. The pen detector marks the counterfeit bills. If the banknote is genuine, the pen detector will leave no traces on the real banknote.

  • What to do with a counterfeit note?

If you think you have a counterfeit ticket, you should not use it to pay for your purchases; you may indeed face criminal charges. Instead, return the counterfeit note to a bank that has special tools (UV lamp, UV-C, infrared) to recognize a counterfeit note from a real note. Sometimes the banknote is so degraded as a torn banknote that it can be mistaken for a fake banknote.

To arrest counterfeiters, try to remember where, when and from whom you received the counterfeit note. The more information you can give the investigators on the origin of the counterfeit, the more you will allow them to solve the case and lock up the counterfeiters.