Last updated: September 3, 2021

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These days, it seems like most people use credit cards or debit cards when making a transaction, but many people still prefer to pay with cash. If you use a lot of cash, be it in your business or when shopping, you want to always make sure that the bills you receive are not counterfeit.

If you have never received a fake bill, consider yourself lucky because it is more common than you may think. Luckily, there is a gadget called a counterfeit money detector. These devices help you have peace of mind and check all your bills to make sure they are real. If you do not know much about these devices, read our shopping guide and review; we will delve deep into exactly what these detectors are.

Key Facts

  • Counterfeit money detectors are machines that can help you detect if a bill is real. They are used worldwide in shops, malls, and anywhere else where cash is used in large quantities.
  • These detectors are usually electromagnetic devices that use rechargeable batteries and can detect small details on bills that the human eye does not usually capture.
  • These machines have evolved over time and have many new functions. Some counterfeit money detectors can only work with specific currencies and some are more effective than others depending on the details that they can detect. These products are small, portable, and easy to use.

Our Selection: The Best Counterfeit Money Detectors

The act of creating fake bills has become more and more common and advanced throughout the years. These copies are becoming so similar to the original bills that you can no longer recognize them with the human eye. For this reason, having a counterfeit money detector is a must! There are many of these devices on the market, so, to help you with your purchase, we have made a list of the best counterfeit money detectors on the market.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Counterfeit Money Detectors

If you want to prove that the bills you receive are not counterfeit, you cannot just rely on your gut feeling or the human eye. You really need the proper technology, like a counterfeit money detector, to help you. These machines are easy and quick to use. The following is a list of the most common questions about these products from buyers like you.

As the name suggests, these detectors are machines that usually run on batteries and identify if a bill is real or fake.
(Source: Amirul Syaidi: 95622080/

What is a counterfeit money detector exactly?

As the name suggests, these detectors are machines that usually run on rechargeable batteries and identify if a bill is real or fake. They can detect different details and characteristics of the bills you receive and give you a signal if it picks up anything that a real bill should not have.

Why should I use a counterfeit money detector?

Although using a credit card or a debit card is becoming more and more common, cash has not yet been eliminated by all financial transactions. In fact, using cash is still the most common way to pay, and the falsification of bills seems to be getting more sophisticated.

A few decades ago, false bills could be detected by trained individuals using the human eye. However, bill falsification has gotten even more detailed and complicated that people now have to use technology to help them detect details that people can no longer notice.

The Federal ReserveThe Central Bank of the United States
"If you live in the United States and you think you've received a counterfeit note, immediately notify the local police. Try to remember the physical characteristics of the person who passed the suspect counterfeit, and if possible write down the person's license plate number and vehicle description. Store the suspect counterfeit apart from genuine currency and release it as soon as possible to law enforcement authorities."

What type of systems do counterfeit money detectors use?

As bill falsification becomes more advanced and professional, counterfeit money detectors are also evolving to detect this fake money. These devices usually vary in how many details they can recognize. The following table explains the most popular types of counterfeit money detectors.

Bill detection system Description
Ultraviolet control Currently bills are covered with ultraviolet ink that is not visible to the human eye, but it can be detected by special sensors.
Magnetic strip control Banks also use various colors of ferromagnetic ink on their bills. The bank prints complex magnetic patterns on the bills that cannot be seen by the human eye.

How does a counterfeit money detector work?

In order to tell if a bill is fake or not, a counterfeit money detector can recognize a bill's patterns, textures, etc. When you scan money, this machine uses a very precise sensor. The bill that was scanned is then compared to what a bill should look like. Finally, the machine determines if it is a false bill or not.

Currently, bills are covered with ultraviolet ink that is not visible to the human eye.
(Source: Andriy Popov: 120158493/

How do I use a counterfeit money detector?

Using a counterfeit money detector is very simple. Most models come with an LED screen and an alarm that will go off if a false bill is detected. You just have to insert the cash into the machine, and the device will scan it for you and immediately spit them out.

How do I update my counterfeit money detector?

Most banks are consistently working to improve the security of and avoiding the falsification of bills. Some models automatically update their software when there is a change in currency or security, while other models have to be updated through a computer.

Counterfeit money detectors usually have USB ports that allow them to be connected to a computer making it easy to update the software, while others have MicroSD slots. It is always a good idea to keep an eye out for updates from the Central Bank so that you know when to update your device.

The Federal ReserveThe Central Bank of the United States
"It is important to know what the security features are in genuine currency, because if you end up with a counterfeit note, you will lose that money. A counterfeit note cannot be exchanged for a genuine one, and it is illegal to knowingly pass counterfeit currency."

Are there other ways to tell if a bill is false besides counterfeit money detectors?

Yes, there are. The most popular way to tell if a bill is false besides using a counterfeit money detector is using a counterfeit detection pen. These pens use ink that causes a chemical reaction when marking a false bill. It is important to note that they are not as reliable as counterfeit money detectors.

What are the pros and cons of using a counterfeit money detector?

If you work with a lot of cash, you will probably receive a false bill sooner or later. The following is a list of pros and cons that come with using a counterfeit money detector:

  • Small and light
  • Battery powered
  • Easy to use: you just put the bill into the machine and it will do everything for you
  • Work very quickly and efficiently
  • You have to use them with every transaction, which can add an extra step and take up a little more time
  • Can become outdated
  • May not work if the bill is ripped.

What other functions do counterfeit money detectors have?

Generally, these devices are made for a very specific function, detecting false bills. However, new models have come out that can count bills; this is very useful for people who work with large numbers of bills because you can count the bills and check if they are fake at the same time.

Counterfeit money detectors usually use rechargeable batteries.
(Source: Marian Vejcik: 50529835/

Shopping Criteria

If you want to make sure the money you receive is not fake, a counterfeit money detector is a must. These machines work much better than the human eye. With this machine, you will be able to have peace of mind knowing that the money that you receive is real. There are a variety of models on the market, but there are a few aspects that you should keep in mind if you want to make the best purchase.

Battery Life

Counterfeit money detectors usually use rechargeable batteries, which is great news because you can use them anywhere, not just by an outlet.  This way you can use this device at your desk or wherever you please. We recommend that you buy a detector that has at least 8 hours of battery life so that you complete a working day without the machine running out of battery.


You need to buy a reliable counterfeit money detector. Before making your purchase, you should make sure that the machine has been certified. If it is certified by the Central Bank, you should rest assured that it will be able to detect any fake bill that you receive.

Detection Systems

As we have explained in the sections above, counterfeit money detectors can come with one, two, or various detection systems that help prove that a bill is real. The two main detection systems are UV control and magnetic strip, as they are the hardest to fake. The more detection systems that your counterfeit money detector has, the more effective it will be.

Updated Software

Bills do not change every year, but they do change periodically to have a more sophisticated security system. It is important for these machines to be updated when these changes happen.


A counterfeit money detector will help you to determine if the bills that you receive are real. More and more shops are using these devices because they are extremely quick and easy to use. These devices are the best way to fight against counterfeit bills.

These devices normally use rechargeable lithium batteries. They can have different detection systems depending on how advanced they are, but the most important systems are UV control and magnetic strip. The best counterfeit money detectors will be certified by the Central Banks.

(Source of Featured Image: Andriy Popov: 120820672/