Counterfeit U.S. Currency Abroad:

Observations on Counterfeiting and U.S. Deterrence Efforts

T-GGD-96-82: Published: Feb 27, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1996.

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GAO discussed U.S. efforts to combat international counterfeiting of U.S. currency. GAO noted that: (1) U.S. currency is vulnerable to international counterfeiting because it is widely used abroad and lacks updated security features; (2) counterfeiters range from office workers to organized crime and terrorist groups using equipment ranging from simple photocopiers to sophisticated offset presses; (3) the U.S. government is particularly concerned about a high-quality counterfeit note known as the "Superdollar" and rapid advances in photographic and printing devices; (4) U.S. agencies' and foreign governments' views on the extent and significance of counterfeit U.S. notes vary, and U.S. counterfeit-detection activities are limited and inconclusive; and (5) to deter international counterfeiting, the Department of the Treasury is redesigning U.S. currency to incorporate more security features, the Secret Service has gathered additional information on counterfeiting and provided counterfeit-detection training, and the U.S. government is using international and interagency task forces and diplomatic efforts to eradicate the Superdollar.

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