Last night I stopped by the liquor store to pick up a six pack of Sierra Nevada ESB. As I walked up the counter the store owner slid me a $20. Without something to compare to, it looked legitimate. After he gave me a true $20 I could note the difference in texture, and the sloppy printing. Once I had a comparison point it was obvious it came from an inkjet printer.
The problem here isn’t that technology has progressed far enough that it can cheaply reproduce a good imitation that a layperson can’t spot. The problem is that technology doesn’t exist that can quickly and easily validate it’s legitimacy. The reliance on sight and texture as validation just won’t be able to keep pace with technology. This will only become more of an issue as the economy keeps tanking.
Visa and Mastercard must be thrilled.