Articles, Blog

Here’s What Happens When You Photocopy Money

February 28, 2020

If you haven’t been to your local copy shop
lately, you simply must. Technology has come so far over the last few
years. These days, a high-end copy machine can produce
prints with as many as 9600 by 600 dots per inch. “Are we clear?” “Yes, sir.” “Are we CLEAR?!” “Crystal.” With that sort of crystal clear quality and
the ready availability of all manner of fancy papers, you might ask yourself “Why don’t
I buy a ream of mint green stationery, shove a couple of sawbucks in the Xerox, and break
real bad printing off sweet duckets?” “How much is this?” “I have no earthly idea.” Amazingly enough, the government somehow recognized
pretty early on that a machine capable of making exact replicas of two dimensional surfaces
might be a threat to the stability of a paper currency. That’s why bills and notes around the world
are outfitted with little-understood, remarkably hush-hush watermarks and patterns designed
to alert printers and digital image editors to the potential presence of fat stacks of
cash. Exhibit A is the EURion constellation, a distinctive
five point pattern incorporated into the face of most modern currency. It’s pretty easy to spot in the tiny zeroes
on the back of a twenty dollar bill and every variation of the Euro, and can be found on
cash from all over the world. When software built into photocopiers senses
this pattern, the machine will deliberately trash the resulting copy, either by printing
only a fraction of the image or by refusing to print at all. Additionally, most versions of programs like
Adobe Photoshop will display an intimidating warning message if they detect currency in
an image file. What makes this extra interesting is that,
by design, we don’t know all of the ways that software can thwart your attempts to slam
out a couple of sheets of scratch. With new security measures being included
all the time, it’s unlikely that counterfeiters will be able to catch up. At least not the ones at Kinkos. There are plenty of other ways that currencies
around the world have been redesigned to curb the desires of everyone’s inner Rob Schneider,
too. “The Tomster, makin’ copies, Mr. Tom.” The addition of a thin plastic strip to paper
money has become common, as has the use of holographic marking and abandoning paper money
altogether in favor of polymer banknotes, which have been used in Australia and New
Zealand since the 80s and 90s. But let’s say that you won’t let any of this
deter you. “That’s just a straight shooter with upper
management written all over him.” You’re a go getter, a dreamer, and in close
proximity to the office photocopier. You’ve managed, hypothetically, to bypass
the cryptic software used to keep you from hitting that “print” button and now you’ve
got yourself a billfold four inches thick with cash that, let’s be honest, doesn’t look
particularly real, but to hell with it. Maybe the valet at Fuddruckers won’t notice. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? “Um, it’s obviously a crime to pass counterfeit
money.” So glad you asked. In the good old U.S. of A., counterfeiting
currency falls under U.S. Code title 18 section 471, which the folks at Cornell’s Legal Information
Institute will happily tell you states the following: “Whoever, with intent to defraud, falsely
makes, forges, counterfeits, or alters any obligation or other security of the United
States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” Up until the mid-90s, that fine was “no more
than $5000,” but the law was reworded in 1994. Now, shoving a Benjamin in the Xerox machine
can mean that you owe the American government as much as $250,000. Of course, that’s a slap on the wrist compared
to the punishment in China, which includes a life sentence. Still, it doesn’t seem to matter how harsh
the consequences, or even how advanced anti-counterfeiting measures become. Like Batman commissioner James Gordon predicted,
there’s always going to be escalation. Per the BBC news, in December of 2019, a joint
effort by Europol shut down a preposterously advanced ring of counterfeiters in Germany,
Austria, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain, managing to retrieve over a million
euros worth of fake bills. The gang had a setup so advanced that they
were capable of producing their own holographic strips and chemical watermarks, selling through
anonymous Tor routing networks, and were reported to be “the darknet’s second largest counterfeit
currency producer.” Even with such a remarkable, Carmen Sandiego-worthy
series of facilities, they still got caught. The point here is, you’re probably not going
to do a lot better with a Best Buy rewards membership card and an HP Inkjet, so honestly,
you’re a lot better off not trying. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about strange
and interesting topics are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.


  • Reply Damian Smith February 26, 2020 at 7:01 pm


  • Reply Darth Neph February 26, 2020 at 7:04 pm


  • Reply Mr. NsTalgia February 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm


  • Reply nate hector February 26, 2020 at 7:09 pm


  • Reply david zero February 26, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    It explodes into poop gravy!

  • Reply Devin Williams February 26, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Feck yea let's go git fake money

  • Reply TONY Harris February 26, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I don't need no money like that why would you send this to me thanks for sharing I'm not a crook you have a nice life and made Love Boat load of cash take you where you want to go

  • Reply C. ladimore February 26, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    the dollar isn't made with paper

  • Reply Suzie Pelter February 26, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    i worked in banking for many years. Counterfeit money does get circulated alot in cash based retail stores (liquor & convenience stores, etc). You can tell it's counterfeit by the way it feels, looks, the edges are choppy, etc. It amazes me how many people get fooled. When it makes it's way to a bank, it's sent to the FBI.

  • Reply ruski muejek February 26, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Wow this is cool

  • Reply Supreme Tez VLOGS February 26, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Heres what happens when you photocopy money 💵

    “You go to jail” 😂😂🤣😂💯 it’s a federal offense to photocopy federal currency #Counterfeiting is illegal Dont try it if the police catch you with that you can do 10-15 hard time with Herbert the Pervert🤣🤣

  • Reply The Verbally Abusive Clown February 26, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    My arse refuses to allow me to even entertain the thought of trying to defraud the government. It has explained to me in no uncertain terms that it would not do well in prison.

  • Reply Cessy February 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    This has inspired me to trying making counterfeit dollars… how hard can it be

  • Reply cody8804 February 26, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I remember when I was kid someone nearby printed fake money and bought stuff and the fbi blocked off the street and had black SUVs with tinted windows it was like a movie

  • Reply Dylan J February 26, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    There should be a law passed against counterfeit people.

  • Reply it's a bit frosty February 26, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Notes are plastic in England now

  • Reply Skeptic Seeker February 26, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    to everyone watching this video, congratulations you are now on a federal watch list somewhere

  • Reply Adrianna Robeson February 26, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    People always use to try to pass fake $20s in the bar I use to work at in Baltimore,,

  • Reply Paivi Project February 26, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Wow ! Yep I'm not gonna try that 😃

  • Reply Robert Palumbo February 26, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Just make. Counterfeit bit coins or digital money

  • Reply jonas herbert February 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

    what animated movie was that?

  • Reply john underwood February 27, 2020 at 1:24 am

    I wouldn't even attempt counterfeting. But I would scan a bill to play with it. It would be joke money and no one would ever take it as currency. But it would be good for a few laughs. I would go so far as to write on it Bogus Bucks, not good for any debts public or private. And instead if the United states of America it would say the United states of Hysteria. I just wouldn't be able to leave it alone. It would contain every pun imaginable.

  • Reply Arashi Mokuzai February 27, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Trust me, all of america is on a federal watch list, Be it fire arms, or going to school, everyone is a threat to the government and if you're not a sheep all the more so. If you know how to make bombs my mixing a combination of oxidizer and a fuel you're on a watch list, If you don't know how you're still on a watchlist. if you refine uranium you are on a watchlist, ( just using a few solvents One at a time you can figure out which one works well at pulling radioactive material from ore) then its just a matter of getting a lot of it together and adding a beryllium reflector and then focusing the beams on some more uranium you can enrich uranium for use in nuclear bombs, which is as easy to turn in to plutonium simply by focusing the neutron beams on to some Uranium 235 which can then be turned in to a nuclear bomb directly via use of shaped charges and a High precision timer each going off within a microsecond of each-other simply put, the ignition system would have to use wires that are all the same length, its fairly simple honestly. you don't need advanced timing systems, just a good reliable electrical pulse system. though uranium ore is easy to get, its hard to work with, and so if you so much as attempt any of this, you will probably die from radiation exposure, However if you use pneumatic systems to handle the uranium and plutonium from a radiation hardened bunker and have a thick leaded glass camera to watch the process from then its a lot less risky, you just have to assemble the high plastic explosives in to a shell drop in the core, and finally Seal the thing up.

  • Reply Music Is Life February 27, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Money isnt made of paper. It's made of Denim.

  • Reply mathiasmorqubus February 27, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Hell, I barely carry a $20 bill around on me anymore. No lie someone wanted to give a hundred dollar bill that looked so freaky, I refused. And no I’m not a millennial, i’am a GEN FUCKEING XER!

  • Reply William Bass February 27, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Only an IDIOT would do this!!

  • Reply Luis Robles February 27, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    so blessed I can now buy my dream home thanks to, simply Google with no gaps E a s y L a p t o p L i f e .c o m

  • Reply Grunge February 27, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Have you ever seen counterfeit money in real life?

  • Reply DJ SAVAGE February 27, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    The Federal reserve dies this every day they are not even apart of the gov the people controlling the money are apart of a private corporation but yes illegal if you do it free humanity

  • Reply figmo397 February 27, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    There are also subtle watermarks in modern bills that only show up when exposed to strong light. When you try to photocopy such a bill, the watermark shows up vividly.

  • Reply Phil Belvedere February 28, 2020 at 5:34 am

    No one In USA got o damn business and know better trying to copy us $ idiot 🤬

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