Money created without a state’s or government’s legal authorization is known as counterfeit money, and it is typically generated with the intention of seeming to be real money in order to trick its intended receiver. Generating or employing counterfeit currency is a type of deception or falsification, and it is prohibited in every global jurisdiction. Since plated duplicates of Lydian coins, which are believed to be among the earliest Western coinage, have been discovered, the practice of counterfeiting money is almost as ancient as money itself. These copies are referred to as Fourrées. Prior to the invention of paper money, base metals were frequently combined with pure gold or silver to create counterfeit goods. The creation of papers by authorized printers in response to fictitious instructions is another instance of counterfeiting. The Nazis counterfeit British pounds and US currencies during World War II. Because of their superior quality and accurate replication of the US dollar, some of the best counterfeit banknotes available today are referred to as Superdollars. Since the Euro’s introduction in 2002, there has been a considerable amount of counterfeiting of coins and banknotes, but far less than with the US dollar.

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The value of actual money decreases when counterfeit money is detected by banks, even if it is confiscated. This leads to an increase in prices (inflation) as a result of an unauthorized artificial increase in the money supply. Additionally, the acceptability of paper money declines. Finally, traders suffer losses when they are not compensated for the counterfeit money they discover. Anti-counterfeiting tactics have historically included raised intaglio printing on banknotes with fine detail, making it easy for non-experts to identify fakes. Coins having milled or reeded edges—marked with parallel grooves—indicate that no precious metal has been removed by scraping.