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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 17 12:08 AM

June 17th, 2016: Counterfeiting Money

Counterfeiting money isn't easy, thankfully. I saw a video how you canít photocopy money, any countries money.
I remember unsuccessfully trying to Xerox US bills, 30-odd years ago, in an attempt to make gift wrapping paper,
so Iíve always accepted this being true. However, my curious inner child said, that was then and now ainít.
I put a US bill in my HP 4570c flatbed scanner, opened the result in Photoshop, and it looks pretty damn good.
Not good enough to be passed for real, although in my recent experiences the cashiers barely look at the money
and at most hit it with the marker to see if the mark changes color, but I think thatís looking for the right paper.
I suspect your bookie or dealer would look more closely.

...........

The scan should never pass muster as real money but fine for film or TV show stacks of cash, just print a stack.
So I tell Photoshop to tell my Canon ip4500 to print one, and it lights up, whirrs, and clunks, but no printed image.
Hmm. Try again and watch the print queue. There it is, the printer grunts and rattles, it disappears from the queue.
All noise and drama but just faking it, no print.

Plan BÖ take a screen shot of the bill in photoshop, create a new image of the bill, try to printÖ not happening.
Save both images to my desk-top, create two more images by stripping ďall properties and personal informationĒ.
Try to print all four images with Windows, by-passing Photoshop, on the same Canon printer. It printed enlarged
images of really poor quality, but at life size it would stop printing after the very top of Benís head.

Bottom line is if you bleach out a $1 dollar bill and print a larger denomination, sooner or later a bank will flag it,
and the larger denomination the shorter the chain back to you. At best you might pass a couple hundreds before
being gunned down like a dog in the gutter, or 3 hots and a cot.
To me it seems pretty stupid, but YMMV.



Clodfobble  Friday Jun 17 07:31 AM

And now is the part where your printer secretly contacted authorities over the wireless, and you'll have agents knocking on your door tomorrow.



glatt  Friday Jun 17 09:26 AM

I haven't read the law lately, but it's specific about what you can do. And size is one of those things. You are legally allowed to copy money at something like 150% of actual size or 50% of actual size.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 17 10:42 AM

Yes, the law is very specific about size, single sided, complete, basically it's ok if it doesn't look like money.
Since I suspect I'm already on at least a dozen watch lists, I probably should start wearing pajamas to bed.



gtown  Friday Jun 17 12:38 PM

In the late 80s I worked with a guy who had done time for counterfeiting. Based on his age it probably happened in the 80s. His father was a printer so I think his father did the printing and then he did the passing. He'd go to an apartment complex laundry room to dry the money with lead shot (something like that) to age the bills while beating the hell out of the dryer. Then he'd go on a road trip buying cheap stuff at convenience stores one $20 at a time. Until he got caught at least...



footfootfoot  Friday Jun 17 01:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Counterfeiting money isn't easy, thankfully. I saw a video how you canít photocopy money, any countries money.
I remember unsuccessfully trying to Xerox US bills, 30-odd years ago, in an attempt to make gift wrapping paper,
so Iíve always accepted this being true. However, my curious inner child said, that was then and now ainít.
I put a US bill in my HP 4570c flatbed scanner, opened the result in Photoshop, and it looks pretty damn good.
Not good enough to be passed for real, although in my recent experiences the cashiers barely look at the money
and at most hit it with the marker to see if the mark changes color, but I think thatís looking for the right paper.
I suspect your bookie or dealer would look more closely.

...........

The scan should never pass muster as real money but fine for film or TV show stacks of cash, just print a stack.
So I tell Photoshop to tell my Canon ip4500 to print one, and it lights up, whirrs, and clunks, but no printed image.
Hmm. Try again and watch the print queue. There it is, the printer grunts and rattles, it disappears from the queue.
All noise and drama but just faking it, no print.

Plan BÖ take a screen shot of the bill in photoshop, create a new image of the bill, try to printÖ not happening.
Save both images to my desk-top, create two more images by stripping ďall properties and personal informationĒ.
Try to print all four images with Windows, by-passing Photoshop, on the same Canon printer. It printed enlarged
images of really poor quality, but at life size it would stop printing after the very top of Benís head.

Bottom line is if you bleach out a $1 dollar bill and print a larger denomination, sooner or later a bank will flag it,
and the larger denomination the shorter the chain back to you. At best you might pass a couple hundreds before
being gunned down like a dog in the gutter, or 3 hots and a cot.
To me it seems pretty stupid, but YMMV.
Years ago I remember reading about a workaround to bypass the print defeat software. I think you basically hit upon the gist of it. Maybe saving as a jpg or psd with a blank layer or something like having the bill part of a larger image.

It was years ago and I'm sure the software has kept up with the counterfeiters.


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 17 01:30 PM

With the Secret Service, FBI, et al, watching who buys the "right" paper and the "right" printing press, so they know most fake US$100s come from North Korean embassies around the world. But I was fascinated by the story of Frank Bourassa, the Canadian who printed millions in US$20s. It took 4 years to catch him and he walked with a few months in prison and a fine of $1500... Canadian. Plus, "People will spend a lifetime working and make 10 percent of what I have."



SPUCK  Friday Jun 24 04:38 AM

I had no idea printers noticed, but dang what a timely IOD Bruce!

My daughter is in HI for the summer. Her Granddad sends her letters and mullah. Instead of trying to send it on to her I open it scan it and scan the front of the letter and whatever bits of the $s in the letter so she sees what-all came in/on/with the letter. Damned if every time I try to scan the envelope with money corners the scanner scans along then craps-out completely around the end with the money!

This has happened with two letters. I chalked it up to the scanner not understanding what the page size was since there is no standard size 8-1/2 by 11 etc associated with my sort-of free-form scan job. I bet it's this money recognition thing. Lawyers must have got to the printer companies and told them they could find themselves in court with some sleezeball if they don't protect themselves.

I must investigate deeper. The enormous bloatware that printer drivers have become recently (easily the largest most bloated drivers to ever get near PCs) may be because of this need to recognize all sorts of denominations.



Clodfobble  Friday Jun 24 11:25 AM

I wrote a paper on counterfeiting in 1997. The printer recognition thing has been in place at least since then.



footfootfoot  Friday Jun 24 11:34 AM

My friend's dad used to have this corny joke:

"I had an uncle who made big money. He went to jail for it, the money was about a quarter of an inch too big."



footfootfoot  Friday Jun 24 11:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
I wrote a paper on counterfeiting in 1997. The printer recognition thing has been in place at least since then.
What was special about counterfeiting in 1997 as opposed to other years?


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 24 11:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
I must investigate deeper. The enormous bloatware that printer drivers have become recently (easily the largest most bloated drivers to ever get near PCs) may be because of this need to recognize all sorts of denominations.
Most printers have a slimed down version of the software for business at the makers website. It would be worth checking.


Gravdigr  Friday Jun 24 04:23 PM

I don't like slimy software. It leaks out on my desk.



BigV  Friday Jun 24 09:47 PM

hey xoB, what if in your software, you rotated the image at full size about 45 degrees from horizontal and tried to print? I wonder if that would make a difference?



gvidas  Friday Jun 24 10:07 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation

I'll leave the brexit joke to someone else.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 24 11:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
hey xoB, what if in your software, you rotated the image at full size about 45 degrees from horizontal and tried to print? I wonder if that would make a difference?
Damifino, didn't try that. I doubt it could be fooled, but I'll try it.


Clodfobble  Saturday Jun 25 08:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by foot foot foot
What was special about counterfeiting in 1997 as opposed to other years?


That was around the time they decided to change the money (with the bigger, offset faces, watermarks, etc.) It took years to actually implement it, but my dad's a financial guy so I knew about it, and the paper was on any topic we wanted.


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