Counterfeiting: Modern Technology
Counterfeiting: Historical Background
The emergence of high-quality laser printers and color photocopying during the late twentieth century aggravated the problem of counterfeit paper money, as it has become much easier to reproduce a bill with an altered denomination or to create an entirely counterfeit piece of currency in vast quantities. However, distinct differences usually remain. In genuine currency, the details of the designs are sharper with a clear background. Counterfeit currency often has blurred borders, shaded backgrounds, and fuzzy designs, as well as red and blue marks on the surface of the paper. Genuine currency has red and blue fiber as part of the paper itself. Most counterfeit coins in the modern era are produced to imitate rare objects and fool coin collectors. The most common changes in counterfeit coins are the removal, addition, or alteration of the coin’s date or mint marks.
Counterfeit goods are more complicated to combat than is counterfeit currency, partly because of the worldwide scale of the problem. By the millennium, the counterfeiting of American goods had become a major concern of businesses ranging from clothing designers to film studios. Some of the “knockoffs” were sold so cheaply and under such circumstances that consumers could reasonably be expected to know that they were purchasing counterfeits. Other consumers, such as those purchasing pharmaceutical products on the Internet, were unaware. Counterfeit products have proven costly to manufacturers, who lose both profits and reputations for quality and, perhaps, exclusiveness.