American greenbacks to get dash of colour to fox forgers

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The Independent US

The good old American greenbacks are going to get a dash of colour starting from next year as the US Treasury explores new methods of thwarting counterfeiters.

Traditionalists need not despair, however. It is not as if the Bureau of Engraving and Printing – the US mint – is going crazy with colour. The United States bills will essentially remain green and black. However, "subtle" tones of colour will be added to the backgrounds, which are now neutral in shade.

No decision has been made as to what hues of colour will be used on the notes

This redesign will be the second alteration in just a few years. Small changes were made in 1996 after it became clear how easily counterfeiters could run off fake US banknotes using home computers and laser printers.

"You no longer have to be a skilled printer," said Jim Mackin, a Treasury Department spokesman. "You can print it off your computer".

The most recent statistics show that 39 per cent of forged US banknotes that entered into circulation around the world had been printed from personal computers. Six years ago, inthe first change since the 1920s, a watermark was added to the banknotes.