Brushing Up on Old-School Fraud Prevention

Fraud PreventionThese days businesses are primarily concerned with complying with applicable privacy laws to prevent data breaches and digital identity theft and fraud. If you run a retail location, however, you also have to worry about POS payments in cash. Just because paying with currency is becoming less common in this credit-driven world doesn’t mean that you can afford to take fraudulent cash payments.

To ensure that the legal tender you accept is, in fact, legal, you need to have policies and devices in place to detect counterfeit money. Here are a few tips for brushing up on old-school fraud prevention in your retail stores.


Two-dollar bills are a real thing and, believe it or not, so are thousand-dollar bills (although they haven’t been printed since 1945 and most are worth several thousand dollars above and beyond their face value at this point). The thing is, if you’re going to accept cash as payment, you really need to train your employees to spot the fake bills among the real ones.

Training your cashiers is an essential component of preventing old-school currency fraud since these employees are the ones responsible for taking payment. A good place to start is the U.S. Currency Education Program, which offers materials on recognizing legal tender and spotting fakes, including a money training presentation that delivers information on authenticating money. When employees know what to look for, you could significantly reduce instances of counterfeit bills in your tills.

Counterfeit Bill Detector Machines

Even if people are trained to spot counterfeit bills, some bills are so good that they are foolproof to the human eye, which is why you might want a counterfeit detector to confirm suspected counterfeit bills; most are designed to spot counterfeit bills as they count your cash.

There are many models to choose from at varying price points, but for the greatest level of protection, you should look for machines that go beyond the two-method test and feature multiple means of detecting discrepancies in bills, along with an alarm to alert you when a counterfeit bill is found.

Counterfeit Detector Pens

Counterfeit bill detector machines are nice if you have to count a lot of cash at the end of the night, and they can help you to spot recurring issues with fraudulent bills, but really you want to catch this fraud at the point of sale. This is where counterfeit detector pens come in handy.

Employees simply swipe them across suspicious or high denomination bills to see if the ink changes color. On run-of-the-mill, wood-based paper, the iodine will turn black. The fiber-based paper used for U.S. currency will produce no such reaction, and the ink will not change color. When employees know what to look for, and they have suitable tools at their disposal, you can avoid fraudulent bills and the business losses they represent.

Keep it Safe

Finally, with any matter that deals with money, every business should have a depository safe on hand.

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