Handling Counterfeit Currency

Federal Reserve Banks do not accept deposits of counterfeit or unlawfully altered currency or coin. Depository institutions (DIs) should forward counterfeit or unlawfully altered currency or coin directly to their local U.S. Secret Service office. (Off-site Link) If a Reserve Bank detects counterfeit or unlawfully altered currency or coin in DI deposits, the Reserve Bank forwards that currency or coin to the Secret Service, and the DI’s Reserve account is charged for the difference.

How to Authenticate U.S. Currency

Accepting a counterfeit note could lead to a real financial loss for individuals or businesses. The best way to determine whether a banknote is genuine is to rely on the security features. Staff at financial institutions can familiarize themselves with security features found in genuine Federal Reserve notes by visiting the U.S. Currency Education Program (CEP) website (Off-site Link), which provides educational materials, training, and information on all circulating designs and denominations of Federal Reserve notes. 

If You Receive A Counterfeit

If you ever doubt the authenticity of a note you receive, contact your local United States Secret Service office. (Off-site Link)

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