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The Treasurer

            Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence

In 1996, the U.S. government introduced the first significant currency design change in 67 years in order to combat the emergence of color copiers and other technologies used to counterfeit notes. As the quality and sophistication of reprographic technology improves, the sophistication and complexity of our currency notes will improve as well. To stay ahead of counterfeiters, the United States anticipates introducing new currency designs every 7-10 years. The most noticeable change in the latest design of currency is the addition of color. Visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing web site for details on the newest currency designs and security features.

If You Suspect A Counterfeit

Currency Design and Security Features

Currency Design Updates  

Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) Goals

The ACD is dedicated to maintaining and ensuring the integrity of U.S. currency by exploring existing and emerging technologies to deter the counterfeiting of U.S. currency in the U.S. and worldwide. Its goals are:

  • To provide information and make recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury on counterfeiting issues, anti-counterfeiting technologies and advanced digital printing technologies;
  • To evaluate and recommend incorporation of advanced security features in the design of U.S. currency;
  • To support the development and implementation of technical solutions to deter counterfeiting of U.S. currency;
  • To create a cooperative working relationship with government and industry to identify technologies to deter counterfeiting;
  • To promote international awareness of counterfeit-deterrence efforts through the internet on U.S. currency features, and Treasury's efforts to deter counterfeiting worldwide;
  • To educate the public, and money-handlers, so they may detect, reject, and report suspected counterfeits;
  • To provide the public with up-to-date information on the latest currency design series and the security features incorporated to combat counterfeiting.
The Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) program was established at the Departmental Offices level of the U.S. Department of Treasury to monitor and communicate counterfeit deterrence issues with the Secretary of the Treasury. The ACD acts as liaison to the Secretary of the Treasury, reporting the combined findings of Treasury's Departmental Offices, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the U.S. Secret Service, and law enforcement agencies worldwide. 
The affordability and sophistication of scanners, color printers and copier systems have attributed to increasing inkjet counterfeiting of United States currency. The Treasury Department has initiated a program to maintain the integrity of the nation’s currency and to encourage a program of continuous development of innovative counterfeit deterrent technologies through cooperative efforts with the digital imaging industry and foreign central banks. Counterfeiting of banknotes is an international problem. To address counterfeiting issues and emerging technologies which can be used to counterfeit currency, the ACD has teamed together with expert representatives from the U.S. government, central banks of foreign countries, international law enforcement agencies, and digital imaging industry manufacturers to identify new technologies to aid in counterfeit deterrence, and in authenticating genuine U.S. currency. This cooperative team is dedicated to being alert to new technologies to combat counterfeiting, studying and recommending those technologies which can be incorporated into currency design series, and implementing decided upon technological solutions.
"Skilled" craftsman have long attempted to produce counterfeits on sophisticated printing presses, and have placed primarily larger denominations into circulation the world over. In recent years since the introduction of digital imaging technologies, the "unskilled" counterfeiter - even pranksters and students - have discovered the ability to use relatively inexpensive equipment to counterfeit currency notes. These notes frequently have a brief lifetime, but satisfy the immediate need - paying for gas with a bogus "Twenty" or making small purchases with a note run printed at home with an accurate inkjet.
The ACD is taking a look at advanced digital imaging technologies and creating solutions to deter counterfeiting by refining currency designs and security features. Beginning in 2003, a newer, next generation currency design is being introduced as the U.S. works to stay a step or two ahead of the counterfeiter.

Federal Reserve

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

U.S. Secret Service

Use and Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency Abroad - Report to Congress

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Last Updated :4/11/2012 8:44 AM

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