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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

10.2.7 Handle Counterfeit Currency

Policy Statement

All units authorized to receive cash are responsible for exercising reasonable care in screening cash transactions for counterfeit currency. Counterfeit currency should not be accepted and processed as a valid payment. If processed as payment, whether the counterfeit is noticed by the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (USFSCO) Cashiers or the bank, USFSCO will contact the department who accepted the counterfeit currency. The department will be liable for the loss and the unit C-FOAP will be charged accordingly.


If counterfeit money is received at the moment of payment:

  1. Do not put yourself in danger.
  2. Do not return the suspicious bill(s) to the person who gave it to you.
  3. If safe to do so, explain to the payer the bill(s) appears to be counterfeit and by law, you must retain the bill(s) and contact the university police, and to please wait for them.
  4. Report the incident to your university police immediately.
  5. If appropriate and safe, ask for a new form of payment.
  6. If payer leaves area prior to police:
    • Try to remember details about payer's physical description.
    • Check your department files for the payer's identification information.
  7. Report the incident to your department supervisor.

If counterfeit was detected after accepted as valid payment:

  1. Do not count the suspicious bill(s) as part of your deposit.
  2. Adjust the deposit by the amount of the suspicious bill(s).
  3. Charge the appropriate department C-FOAP for the loss.
  4. Report the incident to your university police.
  5. Report the incident to your department supervisor.
  6. Report the incident to USFSCO.

Additional Resources

If You Suspect a Counterfeit - Methods of detecting questionable bills from the U.S. Department of the Treasury
Know Your Money- Information from the United States Secret Service

Last Updated: November 29, 2018 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: February 2008

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