In order to make counterfeit money, the counterfeiters use off the shelf software such as Corel Draw or Microsoft Office to design the dollar bill. Using a process called photolithography and the etching of metal plates, the bills are offset printed onto bond paper.
The sheets of fake money are then lightly coated with a varnish and then individually hand cut. The security strip of the bill, which can be seen when a real $100 bill is held up to a light, is inserted into the fake bill using needles and glued with the use of a medical syringe.
The counterfeit bills then pass through a machine with rollers to give the bill a rough texture. Finally, the fake bills are sanded down with sandpaper.
To create a batch of $300,000 counterfeit notes usually takes about four to five days.
Security officials state that counterfeiters earn a profit of $20,000 for every $100,000 in counterfeit dollars they make, or 20 cents for each fake dollar created.
Only fake $100 are smuggled into the United States, with fake $10s and $20s bills being smuggled to neighboring Argentina and Venezuela. The bills are smuggled the same way that cocaine is smuggled, through the use of false-bottom suitcases and even rolled up and swallowed.
The United States Secret Service stated that the counterfeit dollars are easily passed into circulation at retail stores.
Source: Associated Press, “In Peru, U.S. dollar counterfeiting “more profitable than cocaine”,” CBS News, September 5, 2013.