The 7 Best Counterfeit Money Detectors of 2019

Use these handy devices to avoid being ripped off

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Depending on how you look at it, tending a store might have been either much easier or much harder decades ago. Shopkeepers didn’t have the multitude of gadgets available to us today for sniffing out counterfeit bills, but then again, the number of counterfeit bills circulating has mushroomed over the years. Some $200 million in not-so-legit currency infiltrate the U.S. economy these days.

Tools for identifying these bills are critically important. Accepting counterfeit money is the equivalent of being robbed — someone gets your services or merchandise and you get nothing in return. To prevent this from happening, it's worth investor in a counterfeit money detector. The good news is that new and better options become available every day, so read on to find the best counterfeit money detectors to buy now.

Most Versatile: Royal Sovereign 4-Way

Royal Sovereign makes a counterfeit detector that identifies phony bills in four different ways: by the watermark, micro-print, ultraviolet fields or magnetic fields. It’s lightweight and of manageable size, so transport is easy, which can come in handy if you tend to accept money at locations outside your store. And it comes with a U.S. security chart guide to help you along if you’re still unsure about a bill after testing currency through all four methods.

And why stop at money? The Royal Sovereign 4-Way Detector can vet credit cards for legitimacy, too, and if you happen to be running a bar or other establishment that requires identification from customers, it will even verify IDs for you. What we really like about this detector is all you get for a really reasonable price. The Royal Sovereign 4-Way even comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Best LED Technology: AccuBanker LED420

The AccuBanker LED420 also identifies fake credit cards as well as cash, too, and it does it with advanced LED technology that uses both UV and white lights. The white lights check watermarks. The LED420 also adds the extra protection of size detection. Just pop open the little glass door, place the bill inside on the ruler, and AccuBanker will promptly verify it…or not, if it’s not the real deal.

The old-fashioned lamp detectors of years ago required frequent changing of bulbs, but these in the AcccuBanker LED420 are particularly long-lasting. They can go up to 10,000 hours before replacement. The LED420 requires a 12VDC AC/DC power adapter.

Fastest Detector: Cassida InstaCheck Automatic Counterfeit Detector

The Cassida InstaCheck detector has the corner on speed, making it a potentially good fit for really high-volume stores. You don’t want to hold up your customers as they wait in line to check out while you verify each bill that tries to find its way to your cash register. Just insert the currency and InstaCheck will give you a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down in the form of a “Pass” (blue) or “Fail” (bright red) indicator light within just one second.

It does this by scanning each bill and cross-referencing it with numerous databases. Battery power is optional if you want to use the detector on the go rather than at your cash register. The InstaCheck detector comes with a one-year warranty and Cassida is said to offer pretty good customer service support.

Best Pen: Drimark Duel Test

Drimark makes a two-in-one pen that combines all the standard features of a counterfeit detector pen with a UV light at the end that identifies the security strip found in U.S. currency. The light also confirms genuine paper quality. Drimark promises this two-in-one pen will pick up on bleached bills, too.

This is a particularly cost-effective package because you get two regular pens in the kit along with the duel test pen. The pen is very easy to use, but it comes with an instruction booklet just in case you have any questions.

Best Kit: Noteshield Counterfeit Bill Detector Kit

Why stop with just a pen or light detection technology when you can get a magnifying glass, too? The glass included in Noteshield’s kit will pick up the security micro-printing that appears on today’s bills. The kit also includes pens, a light and a little education on the side — all put together in one money-saving package.

Noteshield’s Counterfeit Bill Detector Kit comes with six marking pens and the UV light detects the security threads built into each bona fide bill. Top all that off with the kit’s informational booklet that tells you what to look for, and this kit is a steal. Noteshield will send you a replacement or give you your money back if you don’t agree.

Best Handheld: B$Sure Portable Counterfeit Bill Detector

This pocket-sized detector gets kudos from those who have tried it, at least in part because it’s so small and tidy you carry it anywhere. It will literally fit in your pocket, but it gives up nothing in exchange for its diminutive size — just 1.6 x 1 x 3.5 inches. It operates on batteries, so it’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t always do business in a brick-and-mortar store.

B$Sure uses patented Opto-Electronics technology to zero in on currency irregularities. The device is handheld. All you have to do is scan its light over the bill. B$Sure’s Portable detector was 100 percent accurate in testing by multiple sources without a single false reading. It also comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

Best for Also Counting Money: Tangkula Money Detector

Tangkula’s money detector doesn’t just assure you that the money you’re taking in is genuine U.S. currency. It counts the money for you, too. Just insert a bill and the LED screen will tell you its denomination — if it’s the real McCoy. Otherwise, you’ll see a “0” because the currency is counterfeit and it’s not worth anything. Tangkula says that its detector can recognize 99.9 percent of the counterfeit money circulating in the U.S. today.

This detector uses a combination of UV, MG, IR and multi-spectrum detection capabilities. It’s a plug-in model, so it’s more suitable for land-based operations.