It’s trivia time! Are you ready?
True or False?
The United States Secret Service was established to protect the president.
If you guessed True, you’re …. wrong!
The Secret Service was established as an agency in 1865, just after the Civil War, to investigate and prevent counterfeiting—the process of making fake money not issued by the U.S. government or other recognized authority.
According the Secret Service website, at the time of Civil War, it has been estimated that 1/3 of all currency in circulation was counterfeit. The problem was made worse by the fact that, at that time, banks in each state designed and printed their own bills. With so many different variations, it was nearly impossibly to know which bills were genuine and which were fake.
Although we’ve come a long way since the days of the Civil War, money counterfeiting is still a problem that the Secret Service works to address. Made easier by the advent of increasingly sophisticated personal computers, graphics programs, and printers, making counterfeit money today may be easier than ever.