Counterfeit money is currency that is produced without the legal sanction of the state or government and it is a deliberate violation of that country's laws. Counterfeiting is almost as old as money itself.
The main objective of counterfeiting is obvious. If you could do it without getting caught, you would be able to print your own money and buy whatever you want with it. Counterfeiting is the ultimate technology for people who want to get something for nothing. Anybody can steal -- it doesn't take much thought. Counterfeiting, on the other hand, requires panache and finesse. Pilfering goods and services from an unwitting vendor by printing and using fake currency is as much an art as it is a crime; the fraternity of counterfeiters is one that's populated by criminals with more than the average amount of derring-do. In fact, the history of counterfeiting is filled with tales of close calls, jailbreaks, Nazi plots, spectacular fraud and, of course, money. In the not-too-distant past, counterfeiting was a difficult and expensive endeavor. It required large printing presses and the ability to cut intricate designs by hand into metal plates. Today, it's much easier to create counterfeit bills. As thousands of teenagers discover every year, if you're willing to break the law, you can create fake money with a PC, a scanner and a color inkjet printer in about 10 minutes.
Of course you can see that it looks all wrong when you put your new counterfeit bill under a microscope. Through this method many fine details are completely lost, giving us the opportunity to detect those small flaws that will prove the fraud.
As the counterfeit bills get used in vending machines and rejected, or as they make their way into banks, where human tellers can feel the difference, or when they get into the hands of an attentive convenience store worker who rejects them, or when they make their way back to the scanning machines at the...