How Does A Counterfeit Money Pen Work?

person holding 100 US Dollar banknote

At A Glance

  • The way a counterfeit pen works, a solution of iodine is found in a counterfeit detector pen. The iodine reacts to starch molecules in normal wood-based papers to create a dark brown mark. The bill’s black mark is a sign that it is counterfeit. The black mark is not made from linen or cotton fiber that reacts with iodine.
  • According to the experts, a counterfeit pen isn’t always reliable because if the fake currency is printed on real currency paper, the pen will read the bill as genuine (Source)

With this in mind, here are 3 things that you should know about counterfeit pen devices.

How Does A Counterfeit Pen Work?

1. Construction of the Counterfeit Pen

To start, when you look at this device, you may describe it in a number of ways. For instance, some people may say that a counterfeit pen looks like a traditional marker with a felt tip. Therefore, if you are not careful, someone may use this device as a regular ink pen. So, it is very important that these types of counterfeit pens are kept separately from other office supplies in an office setting.

Also, this felt tip pen is made like a flair at the end. Similar to the look of the traditional cigarette filter, it has a plastic tube with a reservoir that is made out of polyester. The construction of this pen is not only super durable but made out of the highest quality materials on the outside.

On the inside of this counterfeit pen, you will also find that there may be a hard plastic tube with liquid iodine-based ink in it. This liquid serves a completely different purpose than the traditional ink pen, too. However, if you do not close the contents tight, this liquid can dry up. And, when this happens, the counterfeit pen may not work properly. Instead, it may even provide or supply false results when this device is used. Simply put, it is very important that these counterfeit devices are handled as instructed by the manufacturer.

2. How does a counterfeit pen work

using counterfeit pen on cash

The function of this pen is essential to anyone who has them for a number of different reasons. However, the most essential reason is detecting counterfeit bills from genuine bills. So, this device’s original intent is to keep thieves or anyone else from passing on a bill that’s not worth its value. And, here is how these pens are designed.

When a counterfeit bill is swiped with this device, it can detect when the paper that is printed on is genuine. It does these distinctions based on the cotton fibers in the dollar bill. For instance, if the fibers in the bill do not contain certain specific kinds of starches, it will be detected as a counterfeit. This is because the right types of starches in a genuine bill will react to the iodine automatically when it is swiped with the pen.

There is also a distinction made between the colors that it makes when the pen is swiped. For instance, if the color of the ink turns yellow or if it is colorless, the bill that the person has is genuine. On the flip side, if the color of the ink turns any other color than yellowish or colorless, the bill can be deemed as a counterfeit.

This device makes the distinction between counterfeit and genuine bills easy to do and its quick.

One drawback, however, to using the counterfeit pen is its precision and reliability in its results. Simply stated, if the counterfeit device is not accurate because the iodine-based ink is too dry, the bill that the person passes to an individual or a store may be deemed in error as counterfeit. So, it is very important that these counterfeit pens are used strategically.

If not, the person that is using the counterfeit device may actually get a false positive.

3. Not all counterfeit pens are equal

As mentioned before, the basic concept of the counterfeit pen is the same. However, the effectiveness of each of the devices can be vastly different from one to the next. Therefore, before anyone makes an investment in this type of device, you need to do your research first. For instance, one of the best ways to determine if the device is reliable is to check out its security features (i.e. security thread and watermark). You can find this information and more on sites like

By reviewing this information online, you can avoid using counterfeit pens that will produce false positives. And, also avoid receiving counterfeit money that you cannot replace with real money. Whatever the case, you need to know that not all counterfeit pens are the same in quality or accuracy.


The counterfeit pen is a device that has been around for over 30 years. It’s sold widely by major retail stores like Office Depot and others. Once this device hit the shelves in stores, it was said to be a huge hit with over 250 million devices in sales all over the globe.

With that being said, one of the primary questions today is, why is it so popular or, more importantly, you may want to know the answer to questions like, how do counterfeit pens work? Even though these pens can be made by different manufacturers and also known by a variety of other names, the basic concepts of how these devices work are similar or the same.

If you are concerned about receiving counterfeit bills, you may want to look into investing in counterfeit detection pens. You can use these devices for both personal and business purposes today. However, before you buy one of these devices, you need to know the basic concepts of how they are made and used. Once you learn this information you can make informed decisions. From understanding how to determine if the counterfeit pens will yield accurate results to learning how to read the colors from a swipe to detect counterfeit bills, there is a lot that you can learn from doing your research. You can also learn exactly what to look for in a good effective counterfeit pen that will not give you false-positive results.

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