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The Cost of Counterfeiting to US Citizens

March 2, 2009

Quote from a 2003 Federal Reserve paper:

“Out of the approximately $630 billion in U.S. dollars held outside banks at the end of 2002, the Secret Service reported that about $40 million in counterfeit currency was passed on the public. … [T]he aggregate loss of $40 million in 2002 amounts to about 15 cents per U.S. resident … Losses from counterfeiting have also been very small relative to the cost of check fraud and other forms of fraudulent transactions. For example, in 2002, the cost of check fraud to commercial banks was estimated to be nearly $700 million, or nearly 20 times the cost of counterfeiting.”

Source: FRB publication.

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