Monday, January 05, 2009

The less we use cash, the easier counterfeiting is

Modern counterfeiters don't bother with the fancy stuff (like Iran's alleged scheme ). They often desperate sorts who use cheap ink jet printers. Nobody cares enough to prosecute. The interesting bit is that they can do quite well ...
Schneier on Security: Trends in Counterfeit Currency 
... Part of the problem, Green said, is that the government has changed the money so much to foil counterfeiting. With all the new bills out there, citizens and even many police officers don't know what they're supposed to look like.
Moreover, many people see paper money less because they use credit or debit cards.
The result: Ink-jet counterfeiting accounted for 60 percent of $103 million in fake money removed from circulation from October 2007 to August 2008, the Secret Service reports. In 1995, the figure was less than 1 percent...
Today my vending machine rejected my $5 bill -- because it's a modern design. I barely recognized it myself. Paper money is going the way of the telegram .

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