The food truck business has long been a cash business, although mobile payment and contactless transactions are increasing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, fraud, both online and in person, is also on the rise, so food truck operators need to know how to identify fake tickets from the real ones.
Counterfeiting is a big problem for any food business, especially small operations like food trucks, which receive a large portion of their income in cash.
Knowing how to check for counterfeits and use a counterfeit detector can help protect the results.
7 ways to tell if the money is real
With advancements in printing technology, counterfeit money that looks real can be difficult to identify. To spot fakes, look for the lack of features like security threads, UV properties, watermarks, color change inks, and more.
1. Security Threads: As of 2004, all bills of $ 5 and over have a transparent thread embedded vertically into the bill which is visible when held up to the light. Each denomination has the thread in a different place.
2. UV properties: if you apply ultraviolet light on a banknote, the security thread will shine. Each denomination shines in a different color.
3. Magnetic and Color Changing Inks: Some counterfeit detectors can detect the magnetic properties of inks to determine if invoices are real. In addition, 2004 style banknotes of $ 10 and above have a color-changing number imprinted in the lower front right corner.
4. Watermarks: Post 2004 banknotes have a watermark which is visible on either side when held in front of a light.
5. Paper: Real currency uses special paper that is 25% linen and 75% cotton with tiny red and blue fibers embedded in it.
6. Size: Paper money is a very specific size. Some counterfeit detectors are able to find inconsistently sized banknotes.
7. Micro-printing: A small lettering that looks like a single line to the naked eye is called a micro-printing. Real US currency has this characteristic, which can actually be read with a magnifying glass.
Fake invoices can sometimes have some of these characteristics, but it is difficult to reproduce them all perfectly. If your business receives a lot of cash income, it is recommended that you look for more than one sign of counterfeit.
Why do i need counterfeit detectors?
If you provide the right tools and train staff to spot counterfeit money, you can reduce the amount your business loses due to counterfeits. Many bars, restaurants, clubs and resorts handle a lot of cash on a daily basis, which makes them vulnerable to counterfeit bills.
Some tools, like UV lamps, are used to detect counterfeit money and can also be used to verify the authenticity of customer ID cards. Verification of ID is required if your business serves alcohol, and taking extra steps to ensure that ID is real can help protect your establishment from liability.
Types of counterfeit detectors
From pens and UV lamps to currency counters with built-in counterfeit detection, different types of counterfeit detectors are perfect for different applications. When choosing a counterfeit detector, keep in mind that relying on just one testing method may not be enough. It’s important to check more than one factor because technological improvements have made counterfeits more difficult to spot.
Counterfeit pens are a great place to start, but keep in mind that this type of detector will not work on “laundered” banknotes. Money laundering is a common method of counterfeiting. Bleached banknotes have a whitewashed lower denomination print, and then reprinted with a higher denomination. Be sure to consider all of your options to find the counterfeit detector that best fits your business needs.
UV lamps can be used to show security threads, silver ribbons and watermarks or markings on customer IDs which are invisible without a UV lamp.
The technology tests for security threads, watermarks, hidden marks. A UV light system includes a set of UV light in a base with useful indicators to show where the security threads should be for different denominations. Just place an invoice on the light to make sure the safety wire lines up in the right place and shines the right color.
Currency counter / detector models use UV, magnetic and / or infrared technology to test security threads, magnetic ink, size.
Counterfeit detector pens
How it works: Counterfeit pens use an iodine-based ink that reacts with the starches in the wood. Because real silver is printed on linen and cotton paper, the ink remains light or slightly yellow. If an invoice is printed on wood-based paper, the ink reacts and darkens. Some pens come with a coiled cord so you can keep them attached to your cash register.
Tests for: Correct paper.
UV lamp / counterfeit pens
How it works: A counterfeit UV lamp / pen keeps two types of detection in one convenient place. It has a pen on one end and UV light on the other. The pen can be used to test currency paper, while the end of the UV lamp can test security threads and watermarks or help determine the authenticity of ID cards.
Tests for: Correct paper, security threads, watermarks.
How it works: For further investigation of suspicious invoices, a magnifying glass comes in handy. It allows you to find errors in the printing of the invoice, such as the presence or absence of microprinting. They can also make serial numbers easier to read.
Tests for: Printing errors, micro-printing.
What to do with counterfeit money
If you believe you received a fake ticket, you should report it to the U.S. Secret Service or the police.
The US Department of the Treasury recommends the following steps:
1. Do not return the invoice. Instead, observe and write down as much information as possible about the person or group who gave it to you. If possible, include physical descriptions and license plate numbers.
2. Immediately contact the local police or the local US Secret Service office.
3. Treat suspected counterfeit money as little as possible. Place the note in a protective envelope marked as an envelope or plastic bag to separate it from your other cash.
4. Only hand over the invoice to a properly identified police or secret service agent. You can also mail it to the local U.S. Secret Service office closest to your location.