Information on what to do if you or your troop encounter counterfeit money, and to what to look for when receiving cash.
Identifying Counterfeit Money
Hold the bill up to the light and look for:
Watermark: In the unprinted space to the right of the portrait, the watermark can be seen from both sides of the bill since it is not actually printed on the bill, but is imbedded in the paper.
Security thread: This is a thin, imbedded strip running from top to bottom on the face of the bill. On the $10 and $50 bills, the security strip is located to the right of the portrait. On $5, $20, and $100 bills, it is located to the left of the portrait.
Check for color-shifting ink
Tilt the bill back and forth and observe the numeral in the lower right-hand corner. On the $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills (produced in 2004 and later), the color shifts from copper to green. Bills produced between the 1996 and 2003, will shift from green to black. Please note: The $5 bill does not have color-shifting, regardless of year produced.
If You Are Passed Counterfeit Money
If you suspect counterfeit money, do not put yourself or girls in danger. Do not attempt to return the bill(s) back to the customer. Instead, follow these steps:
- Request a letter from bank stating you received and kept the counterfeit money.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the letter from the bank attached. Also include when and where you believe the counterfeit bill was passed to the affected troop.
- Girl Scouts River Valleys will credit the troop in Smart Cookies the amount of the counterfeit money.
Spoiler Alert: Counterfeit Pens Are Unreliable
These highly popular pens used to detect counterfeit bills are no longer reliable indicators of whether a bill is counterfeit. An alternate option is to use an ultraviolet light, but these also come with limitations. (Difficult to use outside!)