smart spending

6 money habits that are illegal

Copying U.S. currency
Copying U.S. currency

Copying U.S. currency

Color printers, scanners and copiers make it surprisingly easy for just about anyone to replicate U.S. or foreign currency. But it is, in fact, illegal to print your own money and try to spend it to buy goods or services.

It's OK to reproduce U.S. currency only if you follow the guidelines established by the U.S. Secret Service, according to Claudia Dickens, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a department of the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C.

"If you make a copy of currency, it has to be at least 150 percent larger than what you and I carry in our wallets or 75 percent of its normal size. If you make it in color, you can only do one side," she says.

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