Is there an easy way for a continual person to find out if $100 bills (and $50s and $20s) space legit, without one of those distinct pen things?

Real or fake?

Now, there are many ways to tell a fake $100 bill without among those “special pen things,” however I’m walk to it is in “that guy” for a minute and suggest out that they are only around $5 on

You are watching: How to tell if a one hundred dollar bill is real

If you’re plan on having actually a yard sale or Craigslisting a bunch of ingredient (two an extremely common scenarios because that counterfeiters to try to happen fake cash) this is a very, an extremely cheap type of insurance.

Yes, they have their faults. If a bill has been v the wash, that may give a false negative, and very sophisticated fakes can still stupid them.

So what deserve to you do when someone asks you to make adjust for a hundred, or someone from Craigslist who’s buying her old sofa desires to pay with big bills?

The good news is that part observational skills, knowledge, and a little of typical sense will enable you to pick out most of the copycat cash.


Check her bills

Here’s a partial perform of measures you have the right to take:

Feel the structure of the bill. take a minute and also rub the paper between her hands. You may not handle as much cash together a financial institution teller does, however you’ve most likely handled sufficient to choose out a bad fake.

Genuine united state cash has a slightly increased ink, and also you should have the ability to feel this by running her fingertips over it, particularly if it’s a new(er) bill.

Compare that with one more of the exact same denomination.

Just got a $20 earlier and you’re not sure about it? Pull one more $20 out of her wallet and look at them both side by side. Due to the fact that everything however $1 and also $2 bills have actually been redesigned at least once in the critical 20 years, this works finest with a bill of the exact same series.

Check the end the to press quality.

Real cash is printed with methods that many counterfeiters space unable come duplicate. A great area to look in ~ is the portrait. Room the lines sharp and distinct? Or execute the well details blur together and also appear unsharp?

Pay fist to the serial numbers.

Do the numbers match? space the number perfectly spaced and aligned, or are they a tiny wiggly? Those room two sure indicators of a fake.

Also, if friend got more than among a denomination the you’re suspicious about, examine to see: are the number the exact same on both bills? Every solitary bill has actually a unique serial number.

Look for the protection features.

On all bills larger than $2, host the bill up to the light and look for the security thread (a plastic piece running from peak to bottom, installed in the paper).

It’s in a various location on each denomination, so be sure to to compare to another bill to watch if it’s to be bleached and reprinted.

Also, every bills $10 and larger have color-shifting squid — just tilt the invoice to view if the color changes.

Where to find out an ext about counterfeit money

These are only a small handful of ways you have the right to determine the legitimacy of a bill, so ns strongly encourage you to visit the united States an enig Service “Know her Money” page for a full and current overview on all US currency security features.

So the good news: with some caution, observation, and an easy knowledge, you should have the ability to spot all however the most innovative fakes.


What to do if you think you have a fake $100 bill

The united state Department that the Treasury supplies these tips through what they imply you perform if you doubt you have actually been happen a counterfeit bill:

1. Perform not put yourself in danger.

2. Do not return the invoice to the passer.

3. Hold-up the passer through some excuse, if possible.

4. Observe the person who provided you the fake invoice (and anyone v them) so girlfriend can describe them later. If friend can, compose down their auto license key number.

5. Contact your neighborhood police room OR call your us Department that the Treasury

6. Write your initials and date in the white border area of the doubt counterfeit note.

7. Execute NOT take care of the counterfeit note. Ar it within a safety cover, a plastic bag, or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hand of an IDENTIFIED secret Service Agent.

See more: How To Make Poison Ivy Stop Itching, The Best Home Remedies For Poison Ivy

8. Surrender the note or coin just to a properly determined police officer or a secret Service special Agent, or letter it to your nearest U.S. An enig Service ar office.

The Treasury likewise notes that there’s no prize — or reimbursement — as soon as you revolve in a fake $100 bill (or any non-legit currency), and also adds, “but it is act the ‘right thing’ to help combat counterfeiting.”