Guttenbergs Print

We get a lot of request regarding how to deal with our cash. Eventually we got a bit tired of answering that, and created this little guide. It covers all the main security features, and some simple tips & tricks. We also decided to offer it for free to everyone. Even if they haven't bought from us. So here you go.


This guide covers the ins and outs of using fake cash both in small and large quantities. Keep in mind that getting caught knowingly using counterfeit currency will end in trouble. It’s always suggested to play dumb, but more on that later. All you should know right now is that you’ve probably actually had fake cash before and never realized it. So don’t be stupid, and you won’t get caught. Also, while we do consider ourselves well versed in counterfeiting, this guide is more focused towards the beginner and the examples are all using USD. Know the difference.

Even today the utmost common way of detecting counterfeit bills is with the use of a detection pen. This method relies on the fact that the paper used is not genuine. If the ink turns an amber color, the bill is considered “good paper” and generally accepted. The paper turning black is an indication that the bill is likely fake, and should/will be rejected.

Though this is the easiest security feature to bypass, it’s still the most commonly checked, and thus the one you should have a good idea of. We’d even go as far as to recommend getting a detection pen yourself and seeing the difference by marking and dollar bill, and marking something such as an envelope.

Some Additional Security Features


A watermark is a transparent replica of the presidential portrait. It is located in the blank space to the right of the portrait and is not a printed feature, but is actually embedded in the paper. It is visible from both sides when held up to a bright light. Bills made with the $5 washed method will still have the Lincoln watermark.


The thread is embedded in the paper and is located in a different location for each denomination. The threads are visible from either side when held up to a bright light and each of the different denominations glows a different color under ultraviolet light to see images with the color and location of the UV security threads. Micro printed words and flags are also printed on the thread and can be seen under magnification.


The fine lines printed behind the portraits and buildings are difficult to replicate and become distorted (creating "Moiré" patterns) when copied.


Extremely small print that can only be seen under magnification becomes blurred, distorted, or disappears when copied.


The green number in the lower right corner on the front of the bill appears black when viewed at an angle.


The paper is made of 25% linen and 75% cotton and contains synthetic red and blue fibers of various lengths distributed evenly throughout the paper.

How to exchange

Low Amounts

When you’re working with small amounts of $10,000 and less than you have nothing to worry about. You can easily pass that at a crowded bar or busy store. Another suggestion is flea markets. From time to time you can even get away with depositing counterfeit cash into your bank. The best suggestion is to stick to stores with return policies. Wal-Mart for example offers no-receipt returns with a cash refund on purchases $25 and below, or any amount with a receipt. If you have a friend working at a large store like Wal-Mart, you can occasionally take advantage of this by paying them off to take the bills and give them back to other customers.

High Amounts

The game changes quite a bit when working with more serious amounts of cash. Amounts greater than 10,000 can be tricky. Unless you plan getting rid of it over a long period of time, you’re going to want to look at it significantly different. The obvious suggestion is to sell it. You can either do this yourself, or if you know a drug dealer or someone else equally shady offer them a cut to sell it to their already normal customers. Alternatively you can do something such as offer students, homeless, or whoever a job where they buy something equal to $10 or less, and bring you back the change. Having done both of these simple methods for years we have run into very few issues that couldn’t be resolved. When working with others, avoid getting personal if it can be helped, and never trust anyone. For example most of us at Benzo don’t know each other’s real names, and even after working together for almost a decade still don’t trust each other. In reality there’s no cookie cutter way to deal with counterfeit cash. All we can do is tell you what has worked for us over the years. The good thing about this business is that it’s primarily common sense. If you don’t have common sense you’re screwed.

Tips & Tricks

  • After paying for an item with authentic cash at a shop, do a quick turn around and ask for something else that you “forgot”. A pack of smokes are a good example item for this. You will then be given smaller denominations in return.
  • It’s always a good idea to try them on lottery/vending/slot machines as it takes all the heavy risk out of the equation, minus the obvious gambling. How well this works will vary depending on the machine.
  • Avoid using a real bill and a fake bill of the same denomination together. Most cashiers won’t notice the worst of fakes until they have something similar to compare it to.
  • If you can shop at a busy time, DO IT. Black Friday is the counterfeiter’s birthday.
  • If the cashier says it’s fake, the best thing to do is to say that’s “that’s not possible, I just got it from *Some Bank or Store* today.” and if questioned say you had no idea.
  • Never follow a pattern. Using the same cashier, or going to the store at the same time every week is a bad idea.
  • Stay calm, Millions of counterfeit dollars are exchanged unknowingly every day. Unless you have a printing press in your apartment you’ll be alright even if things go wrong.