Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yes, You Can Get Stuck With a Counterfeit Bill From Your Bank

Most people think that they could never get counterfeit money at their bank. They are wrong. Banks do not always check their bills for counterfeit before distributing them. Most banks use automatic money counter machines that check for fake bills during the counting process, but not always. If they get busy or if their machine malfunctions, fake bills can be circulated. Once you walk away from the teller’s window you are stuck with any fake bills that they may have given you.
This is a true story:  A woman stopped at her local branch bank after work to cash her paycheck. She then went to the local grocery store and tried to pay for her items using the money she just received at her bank. An alert clerk caught a fake one hundred dollar bill. Since she knew she had just received the bill from her bank, she returned to the bank with the fake bill. This is where it got interesting. Her bank not only refused to replace the bill but also confiscated the bill. There was no proof that the bill was actually one of the bills that the bank had given her and the United States Treasury requires the bank to confiscate any counterfeit bills.
You need to take certain precautions to make sure that you do not get stuck with fake money whether from your bank or from anywhere else.  Any time you receive large bills from anyone, you need to take the time to examine each bill carefully before walking away. If you are in the bank you have the right to ask the teller to run the money through their counterfeit detector. If you are in a retail store you need to examine the watermark and UV strip on each bill carefully before you step away. If you receive large bills from an individual you need to also ask for and examine proper identification.
The one hundred dollar bill is the most common bill to be counterfeited. Some people feel it best to simply avoid one hundred dollar bills entirely and always ask for something smaller. This is a legitimate strategy if you feel that you cannot determine the validity of bills manually. Do not depend on felt tip counterfeit detection markers, as they are easily fooled by the counterfeiters.  Another safer alternative is to use debit or credit cards as much as possible, thus avoiding larger cash transactions. Being aware and being careful could keep you from being stuck with fake money. For more information on money counters and counterfeit detectors visit our

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Money Counter Rental Makes Sense

The decision to rent a money counter may seem simple but it is not. If your business handles cash you probably already own one or more money counting machines. You know that currency counters not only save time but increase accuracy. You might have periodic trade shows or sales events that require cash handling equipment. You need to decide whether to try to pack up your money counter and take it with you,  or  rent a machine on-site. In almost all cases renting is the best alternative for several reasons.
Packing and shipping is a major issue. If you take your equipment with you,  you will need to properly pack it and ship it so that it will arrive on time and in working condition. Money counting equipment is very sensitive and subject to losing calibration or shipping damage. Rental companies know how to properly pack and ship your machine so that it will operate properly when it arrives. They also will test and calibrate you equipment prior to shipping it to the rental site.
Something else to think about is that if you bring your equipment on the road,  how will your business be able to function without it while it is out of the office?  Why should the main office need to go without the use of the equipment?
If you need to handle several locations at once, renting is the only way to go. We had a major bank that was running a charity coin collection in over 100 cities at once. They needed to rent coin counters for all 100 locations during the same week. Renting was their best choice.
Renting is also a great way for you to try out newer models and features. Currency counting equipment is expensive and is constantly evolving with new features and functions. If you rent you have a chance to try out all the latest and greatest features without a capital investment.
Another important consideration in your decision to buy or rent is accounting. Renting is an operating expense and is treated differently than purchasing, which is a capital expense. For tax purposes the rental is a full write-off and does not get depreciated over time as a purchase would. The rental expense will be budgeted as part of the trade show or event that it is directly related to.
There are many reasons that renting a money counter makes sense. If you do decide to rent,  reserve your equipment as far ahead of time as possible. Rental companies with take your reservation up to a year in advance. During peak trade show seasons machines can easily get fully booked. Click to find out more about renting a money counter

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Announcing the BEST Counterfeit Detector Guarantee in the Industry

We are proud to announce our new C3300  Counterfeit Detector with COUNTERFEIT SHIELD which is the best counterfeit detector guarantee in the industry. 
Counterfeit Shield Guarantee
Our state of the art technology will protect you against any counterfeits made anywhere in the world. We back that promise with our Counterfeit Shield Guarantee: We will reimburse you the full face value of the counterfeit bill should your detector accept it as genuine. See brochure for more information.
More Information on the C-3300 Counterfeit Detector

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Counterfeit Pens Are Not a Good way to Detect Fake Money

Making and passing counterfeit currency is a multimillion dollar industry. With inexpensive inkjet printers and computers it is an easy business to get into. Almost anybody can print fake money.  Retail associates are not properly equipped to recognize fake bills and most often the bills are not identified as fake until they reach the bank.
     Many retailers depend on counterfeit detection pens to check larger bills at their cash registers. These pens are not the best way to catch counterfeit bills. The pens use iodine to react chemically with the starch found in papers made from wood pulp, but real money is not printed on paper made from wood pulp. You swipe the pen across the bill and if it the iodine reacts with starch the mark will turn black and identify the bills as fake. If the mark remains yellow or clear the bill is genuine. This will catch the amateur who prints money on an inkjet printer with cheap paper, but it will not catch the professional counterfeiter who can obtain high quality cotton paper that does not use starch.  Another way to get real paper to print bills on is to bleach (“wash”) smaller bills then use the resulting blank paper to print a larger bill. Pens can also be fooled by using hair spray or fabric softener to coat fake bills.
     There are many better solutions. The easiest and cheapest solution is to train associates to identify a fake bill by holding it up to the light and looking at the watermark. All US bills have a watermark of the face on the bill to the right of the printed face. The watermark face can be seen by holding the bill up to bright light or sunlight. The face on the watermark must match the face on the bill. Another inexpensive solution is a ultraviolet detector. Placing the bill into the ultraviolet detector will quickly identify fake bills. Also available are hand held flashlight type ultra violet detectors.  One more option is an automatic bill detector. These run around $300 and you simply place the bill into the machine at the point of sale and it checks the bill and feeds it back to you.
     If you identify a fake bill do not return it to the customer. Retain the bill and call local authorities. If this is not possible then try to remember a detailed description of the suspect and their vehicle and report the crime to law enforcement. To attempt to pass a fake bill on after you accept it is a crime.

     Relying on a cheap counterfeit detection pen to identify counterfeit money is not going to work. There are much better ways to protect  yourself from fake money. Put a plan in place today and train your employees on how to protect your business.Check out our Counterfeit Detectors

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What You Must Know About Large Cash Payments to Your Business

Many small business owners are totally unaware that they are breaking the law when they accept cash payments over $10,000. What they do not know could cost them huge fines from the IRS. Under IRS rules, if a business accepts a cash payment of $10,000 or more for a single transaction, they must report it by filing a form 8300 within 15 days of the transaction. This form can be filed online or on paper. Additionally , the business is required to notify the person from whom they accepted the payment no later than January 31 of the year following the filing.
The penalties for not filing can be huge. The intentional disregard penalty for failure to report is the greater of $25,000 or the amount of cash received in such transaction not to exceed $100,000. Failure to file a timely return can run $50 to $100 per transaction. The aggregate annual limitation (ceiling) in the case of businesses with gross receipts exceeding $5 million is $1,500,000. For businesses with gross receipts not exceeding $5 million, the aggregate annual limitation is $500,000.
Breaking a transaction into two payments does not allow you to avoid filing. The IRS counts more than one payment related to one transaction as still being subject to the $10,000 limitation. For example, if a business sold a tractor and received a $7,000 cash deposit on the order, delivered the tractor some time later and received the $5,000 balance as cash, that would be counted as a $12,000 transaction and requires the filing of a form 8300 . It is not necessary to report transactions using cashiers checks or money orders, but any form of cash or coin is subject to the limitations.
If a business sells a customer an item for $9,000 cash one month and a month later the same customer buys a totally different item for cash, that is considered two separate transactions and not subject to filing. However, if the two sales happened within a 24 hour period they would be subject to the limitation. If a business leases a space to someone who pays $2,000 a month rent in cash and the total cash rent paid during a calendar year exceeds $10,000 , then that is subject to the limitation because it is all related to one transaction.
It gets rather tricky sometimes to determine when the limit has been exceeded. When in doubt consult your accountant or the IRS website for further definition, or you can call the IRS for advice. Form 8300 can be obtained online or wherever you get IRS forms. It can also be filed electronically online. Be careful to always report these transactions within 15 days. Better to be safe than sorry. Please be sure to visit our site for Money Counters

How to Clean a Currency Counter

Cleaning a currency counter will extend the life of the machine, reduce service calls and improve the efficiency of the machine. However, an improper cleaning can do more harm than good so it is very important that it be done properly. Machine should be cleaned weekly.
To properly clean a money counter you need a source of compressed air. This can be canned air which can be purchased from any office supply store or from you money counter supply company or you can use a air compressor to supply the compress air, a bill counter cleaning card and a lint free cloth.

Waffle Cleaning Card

Canned Air

Start out by removing power and wiping the machine surfaces down with a lint free cloth. Then use the compressed air to blow out the dust throughout the machine. Blow the air into all the openings on the machine including openings in the bottom plate.  This will remove dust from all the sensors and from the rollers and inside the machine. Then re-attach the power to the machine and turn it on. Run a few bills through the machine. Open the cleaning card foil packet and insert the card into the machine much the same as you would insert a bill into the machine. The card will run through the machine and clean the wheels and sensors along the way. If the card is especially dirty when it exits the machine then consider running a second card through. Never re-run the same card through the machine more than once.

Now you are finished. If possible keep the machine powered off and covered by a dust cover during extended periods on non-use. Your Currency Counter should last you for years if properly maintained.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The US Dollar Bill Just Won’t Go Away

Does the US Government want to save $13.8 Billion over the next 30 years? According to estimates by the Government Accountability Office and others, that is the potential savings if we could just scrap the paper $1 bills and use coins instead. That is a lot of money, even by Washington standards. Senator John McCain introduced the COINS Act in June, along with Democratic Senators Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Harkin of Iowa and Republican Senators Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. The bill seeks to phase out the paper dollar bills over the next four years.
     Previous attempts to introduce dollar coins have not been successful. The reasons are not always clear. Maybe it is because people think the coins are too big or too small or they will weigh down their pockets. There was a gold dollar in circulation from 1849 to 1889 but it was very small and easy to lose. That was a serious problem back in the days when a dollar could be a full day's wages. In 1979 the US Mint made the Susan B. Anthony dollar coins which were easily confused with quarters and widely disliked. That coin was discontinued in 1981. It was reintroduced in 1999 but still never caught on. Later there was the Sacagawea Dollar which was also widely disliked and short lived.
     Other countries have experienced great success introducing dollar coins. Canadians love their Loonies and Toonies which are $1 and $2 coins. Canada has experienced  ten times their estimated savings in their switch to coins. Britain and Japan have had similar success with their coins. The key to these successful conversions is that in all three countries they phased out or eliminated the paper dollars. Once you phase out the paper dollars and push the dollar coins into circulation, people will love them; at least that has been the experience in Britain, Japan and Canada.
     Government figures show that the Federal Reserve depots currently hold 1.4 Billion one dollar coins and the Mint has 51 million coins. The Mint has since reduced production of the one dollar coins.  We have plenty of inventory. The US Government has been slow to act due to Intensive lobbying by the suppliers of paper and ink used in paper bill production.

     The time has come to move this effort forward. The savings will be significant and the Federal Government should always be looking for ways to save money and reduce the almost $17 Trillion national debt.

Bruce Mitchell is an expert on currency equipment and is the owner of Mitchell Enterprises, a company that distributes money handling equipment and supplies to retailers and the banking industry. For more information visit the website at money counters