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How to Report Counterfeit Banknotes in the US 

Counterfeiting is a serious issue that undermines the integrity of our financial system. Every year, counterfeiters attempt to pass off fake banknotes, causing financial losses and undermining trust in our currency. If you suspect that you’ve received a counterfeit banknote, it’s important to take immediate action. This time, we are looking into the steps you need to take if you suspect youve received a counterfeit USD banknote in the United States.  

Understanding Genuine USD Banknotes 

Before diving into reporting procedures, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the security features of genuine US dollar banknotes. This knowledge will help you identify counterfeit currency accurately. The U.S. currency education program website provides detailed information on the security features to look for in US banknotes, including watermarks, color-shifting ink, and security threads. Moreover, consult and compare them with an accurate and up-to-date database, such as DocumentChecker. The Banknote Alert feature in DocumentChecker will ensure that you stay vigilant on new counterfeits circulating. 

How to Report Counterfeit Banknote 

If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit banknote, the United States Secret Service recommends you take the following steps: 

Do not return it to the passer

If you suspect a banknote is counterfeit, avoid returning it to the individual who gave it to you. Handling counterfeit currency is illegal and passing it on to someone else could potentially involve you in criminal activity.  

Retain the banknote

Keep the suspected counterfeit banknote in a secure location and avoid handling it unnecessarily. Preserving the integrity of the banknote is crucial for investigative purposes. Place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope or plastic bag, and keep it safe until you can turn it over to the authorities.  

Contact local law enforcement

If you are an individual, report the counterfeit banknote to your local police department or call the nearest United States Secret Service field office. Provide as much detail as possible about how you received the banknote and any relevant circumstances surrounding the transaction. Attempt to recall the physical characteristics of the individual who passed the suspected counterfeit banknote. As well as the person’s license plate number and vehicle description, if feasible.  

If you are a business or a financial institution, you can either do it by: 

  • Reporting by mail: 

Download and complete the Counterfeit Note Report form. Then, mail each counterfeit note with the completed 1604 form to the Counterfeit Currency Processing Facility (CCPF) : 

CCPF – 541A
301 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC

  • Reporting online (recommended): Log in or create an account on Then, mail counterfeit currency with a printed report from USDollars to the CCPF address above.

Reporting online offers several advantages: it eliminates the requirement to submit a Counterfeit Note Report (SSF1604) with each counterfeit note, provides clear instructions on how to submit suspected banknotes, and notifies users upon receipt of the banknotes by the U.S. Secret Service. 

Cooperate with authorities

If the Secret Service decides to investigate further, cooperate fully with their investigation. This may involve providing additional information, providing a statement, or assisting with any other requests from law enforcement.  


If you ever doubt the authenticity of a note you receive, and suspect it as counterfeit, contact your local U.S. Secret Service field office if you are an individual, or go to if you are a business to get instructions on reporting online or by mail. 

The stability of our economy and our financial well-being are constantly threatened by counterfeiting. By staying aware, informed, and proactive, we can protect our money and maintain confidence in the currency that serves as the foundation of the economy. DocumentChecker helps you and your business authenticate 6,000+ banknotes, as well as stay on top of new counterfeits circulating. Get a free trial below and contact us by email or call at +31 (0)20 7157 825 if you have any questions.