More counterfeiters are using ink-jet printers, computers and copiers to make money that's just good enough to pass, even though their product is awful, Secret Service agent Charles Green told the Kansas City Star. In the past, the best counterfeiters were skilled printers who used heavy offset presses to turn out decent 20s, 50s and 100s. Now that kind of work is rare and almost all comes from abroad. Among American thieves, the 22-year veteran said “it's a lost art.”
Green said the government has changed money so much to foil counterfeiting that citizens and even many police officers don't know what they're supposed to look like. Many people see paper money less because they use credit or debit cards. Ink-jet counterfeiting accounted for 60 percent of $103 million in fake money removed from circulation from October 2007 to August 2008. In 1995, the figure was less than 1 percent. Counterfeiting gets worse during a slow economy. The 15 Secret Service agents in Kansas City collect an average of $300,000 in fake bills in the metro area each year.