The Secret Service Was Formed To Fight Counterfeiters

When the Civil War drew to a close, counterfeiting was a rampant practice. More than 1,000 state banks were all printing their own notes with unique designs, which made it easy to forge a fake note and pass it off as real. On July 5, 1865, the United States Secret Service was formed and tasked with putting an end to the counterfeiting epidemic. The organization only began to serve a protective function for government officials in 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Before a national currency was adopted in 1862, American state banks produced their own currency. 00:29

  2. 60% of the counterfeit money confiscated in the U.S. in 2014 was printed on inkjet or laser printers. 01:02

  3. "Superdollars" are counterfeit notes that are of even higher quality than bills created by the treasury. 01:38

Written by Curiosity Staff December 8, 2015

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