Category Archives: FunnyMoney

Know Your Money: Educating the Public about Counterfeit Money

Since 1941, the United States Secret Service has produced a series of booklets to educate the public about counterfeit currency. Although only a fraction of all circulating Federal currency is counterfeit, the US Secret Service investigates every case, however small. A new counterfeit note usually reaches the Secret Service’s attention via the public or a…
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A History of American Currency

The paper money issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690 was the first authorized by any government in the Western world. False notes as well as genuine notes altered by criminals followed promptly. From colonial notes to the much-maligned Continental Currency to the "broken-bank" notes prior to the Civil War, paper money was widely…
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New York City, 1988

In 1988 in New York City, the Secret Service cracked the largest counterfeiting ring in US history. A group of 85 people was arrested for counterfeiting over $100 million in currency. Over several years, Special Agents James J. Figliuolo, Joseph Russo, and others worked on this case from the New York Field Office, then located…
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How It Is Made, How It Moves

As soon as there were coins, there were people making counterfeits. In attempts to foil counterfeiters, issuing authorities have continually added design elements to money to make counterfeiting more difficult. Today US currency is made with many important security features, which allow the user to check the authenticity of a note. Watermarks, security threads, color-shifting…
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Kings of Counterfeiting

Within the annals of the US Secret Service, certain individuals stand out for their audacity, the quality of their counterfeit money or simply their ability to avoid capture. In most of the cases, the agents remain anonymous individuals as they chase the bad guy, who in turn is often portrayed by the press or writers…
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The Beginnings of the Secret Service

The United States Secret Service was set up in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Its primary task was the suppression of counterfeit money. Within a decentralized system of over 1,600 banks and many other financial institutions issuing their own currency, counterfeiters had a relatively easy task. With the Legal Tender Act in…
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