Your printer knows how to stop you from counterfeiting but can’t figure out how to print black and white when you’re out of red ink


It knows how, but it pretends it doesn't so you have to buy more ink sooner.


[No fuck you, low on cyan](https://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/d2bwot/printers/)


Thank you for this you wonderful wonderful wong


Printers are the cats of the computer world.


First reason printer manufacturers do this is money (obviously). Second is that all 3 colors can combine to make Black so it's a back up of sorts. EDIT: Doing this uses 3x the ink and drains your colors faster, so I guess the answer is still money. I used to sell printers fairly regularly and in my experience most of my customers would've had their printing woes solved if they had switched to laser. People are too afraid of paying over $150 for a printer up front so they choose to get nickel and dimed to oblivion.


Considering how much hassle your average printer is id say most people are hesitant to shell out that kind of cash because they’re afraid it will be just as much trouble for 3x the cost


Forreal. My current Brother inkjet is the first printer I’ve had that worked at all, and it lets me print from my phone. 😅 I’ll take the hassle of the ink for the sake of a functional printer.


This right here, my 9 year old brother laser still works like a champ.


You try to copy money, they'll charge you equivalently. That'll be $40 in ink, please.


I’ve had a scanner warn/block me.


Go on..


He can’t. Scanner killed him


Did his head explode like the movie?


Nice, dude


I used to be a professional scanner at a GP clinic and I can confirm, we do not fuck around


A scanner darkly.


Love that movie.. watched it with some friends while on mushrooms. That was a trip


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation If the scanner detects that it is supposed to stop functioning.


TIL something new. Thanks for sharing


Also every printer fills every page with its unique id visible only with microscope. So they can trace it to you. Every single document printed.


That’s why I cut all my messages out of magazines. Sure it might be suspicious when I buy 35 magazines at the corner store, but I’m pretty sure they don’t track that.


Those magazines could be marked as well. Better collect magazines from all over the world since 1950. But that way you could still be traced by the way you collected them. Damn!


I actually saw a bunch of second hand National Geographics for sale the other day. The perfect crime companion. Now we just need to decide on the crime.


No worries! I got a big box! What we doin?


Hopefully it is related to the Serengeti or blue whales based on our word selection.


So you’re saying those blank pages I printed at the dorm printers at the end of the year for free paper can be tracked back to me?!!?????


They print a pattern that encodes the printers serial number. The print can be traced back to the printer. If you had to log into your schools wifi to print, it can be traced back to you. It would take multiple subpoenas, but it could be done. It would take a huge crime to justify the investigation.


The stuff that comes out of printers is so low on resolution but apparently they can make such fine prints its only visible under a microscope? I can hardly believe that unless maybe you mean industrial printers?


It's just single pixel pattern. Would look like dust without magnification. They print in multiple areas of the page. Here is a list of printers that use the technology. It's an issue for whistleblowers, ect. [https://www.eff.org/pages/list-printers-which-do-or-do-not-display-tracking-dots](https://www.eff.org/pages/list-printers-which-do-or-do-not-display-tracking-dots)


Interesting, thanks!


goodwill printers FTW


Every single document xeroxed and faxed is copied within the machine. Every ass cheek and tax return…


Thankyou! That’s super interesting!


Tried to have the wife send me a pic of my social security card once for work and received a gray picture stating sensitive material. Which was kinda cool and scary at the same time lol Edit: Spelling


I assume it was sent from/to a work email? DLP, or Data Loss Prevention software is designed for this sort of thing it can be very advanced if you want to spend the money for it.


All my HPs warned me lol


cheaper to buy a brand new printer.


And that's a bargain.


Reminds me of a phone call I got while working a geek squad type job. "im trying to make a photocop and my printer is printing the wrong color!" "and what color are you trying to photocopy?" "it's, sorta green?" "sorta, money color?" "yeah, sorta money color"


Aside for your third sentence, you got kind of a neat triangle thing going on.


i can’t figure out what you mean but apparently at least 24 other people do, so I feel stupid


I’m with you.


Actually, here, this is better: https://imgur.com/a/3LkfYIo


But like.. 3/6 of the sentences don't build the triangle? Why is something like this so interesting anyway? I guess I just don't get it, but I really want to. Maybe I need to tilt my screen forward? Yeah, I think that kinda did the trick. Thanks for pointing it out guys! bye.


Yeah they won't let you do that. Some will stop halfway, others will color it or not let you print at all


What if you were doing it in black and white? Obviously no one would think blank and white photocopies were legitimate tender. Does it let you do that?


I remember seeing somewhere that there were printed dots/images on currency that when seen by a scanner automatically tells it that it’s currency and to edit the image or stop the process all together. Might have been for Canadian currency though. Edit: it’s called the EURion constellation


I tried to Photoshop my face onto a $5 bill and Photoshop refused to save the file.


Wut. That's actually fucked up let me make myself Ben Franklin dick.


And he wasn't even shooting for Franklin! He was being a modest Abe Lincoln!


I just tried this and it let me save the file no problem.


Dang. How ugly are you?


Gotta use ole’ buddy GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It is free-as-in-speech software and the code is open-source.


"The freedom to run the program as you wish for any purpose (freedom 0)." [https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html](https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html)


Imagine trying to copy something that, by complete coincidence, has those dots in those locations and just going insane trying to figure out what's happening




LOL I wonder if you could 'destroy' documents with a stamp that has those dots on it.


[AFAIK](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMR25RSOzFo) it's only colour photocopiers Edit: I just tried this with an HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 and it cancelled the copy job both when it was set to Colour and B&W


I once had one of my daughters in my office at work and she saw my copier. She asked about copying money or something and I told her the copier wouldn’t let you do it. So I copied a 20 and it came out the other side looking like a great copy. Nothing funny about it at all. I guess sometimes the software doesn’t work. I have no idea.


Might be that you photocopied an already counterfeit 20


Plot twist


It's 20s all the way down




I hate to admit this, but in high school we photo copied Canadian 5s cause they worked in the black change machine in the cafe. It didn’t matter that they were black and white either lol. The company shut that whole scheme down within a week. This was in the mid 90s


You are an actual, bonafide, legitimate, illegal counterfeiter. You made a profit and didn’t get caught. I think that’s probably pretty rare.


most countries believe it or not straight to jail


Printer low on cyan? Straight to jail. Printer completely full of cyan? Believe it or not straight to jail. See how that works with the Flippy floppy like that?


Some internet connected business class printers will also report the attempt. Once isn't a big deal but enough reports will earn you a knock on your door.


I can get pretty lonely sometimes will they be my friends for the day?


Honestly, if you accept a $20 bill that's clearly made of printer paper, you probably shouldn't be a cashier. I really doubt this extra measure the printers go to makes any real difference.


The printer can't tell if it's printing on paper, cardstock, or a good facsimile of money paper. One famous counterfeiter bleached $1 bills so he'd get the paper exactly right.


It $5 bills actually. They printed $100s on top $1 bills don't work, they don't have the watermark all the higher value bills do. Insane part was, even though the watermarks looked different (Lincoln vs Franklin) enough people wgo knew to check them didn't realize the watermark needs to match the person on the bill, and took then anyways Which is why the watermark on the 5 is no longer Lincoln, but is now the number 5


> One famous counterfeiter bleached $1 bills so he'd get the paper exactly right. Almost exactly right. There's a small percentage of red and blue fibers mixed in. By bleaching the bill you also bleach those fibers and now the paper is slightly wrong. The security strip embedded in the paper will also be the wrong denomination.


Just get color safe bleach, duh


Apparently this is an anti-counterfeiting feature built into some printers. I've never seen it in action before though.


Honey, there are Federal Agents at the door…


They actually live inside the machine. Each has a Maglite, one with red cellophane over the lense the other with blue, and when they see something they dont like they flash them in an alternating sequence and climb out to get you.


Homunculi Federales


Found my new punk band name


"Are they Secret Service or ATF?" "ATF" "Hide the dog."


Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should be a store, not a federal agency. The one-stop-shop for Fourth of July. (Mandatory /s because the glowies are watching)


A nice bottle of Scotch, some good cigars, a small rifle for plinking, and some explosive targets, all at the same store. Sounds like a fantastic Saturday.


You joke but... That happened to my family. My dad was a collector of old bills and put photos of them online in the early 2000's. Well, one day while we were eating dinner there was a knock on the door. My brother went to answer it and they announced themselves as secret service. My brother said something smartass like most teens would and they forced the door open. They confiscated my dad's computer and investigated him but he wasn't guilty. He just happened to be the poor guy posting photos, while some dude in Florida was using them to counterfeit. Lesson learned; when posting images online of money, change the aspect ratio.


Watermark would also work I think


Now Im curious how he pays the bail.


If you're color blind, no worries, I got tons of cash.


If you try to scan a dollar into photoshop it will give you a warning about counterfeiting and not let you open the image. At least it was that way when I tried to make a collage in my college photoshop class.




GIMP won't give a fuck.


Yeah, we can't allow anyone to use an image of a common and publicly available object because someone might commit a crime.


In all fairness, it probably prevented a lot of people from making a laughably stupid attempt at counterfeiting which could potentially ruin their entire lives if they get caught. And there's a very good chance they will. Also I'm not sure if it's just a liability thing for Adobe. When I was in high school, some kid tried to make fake twenties and was able to register both sides on a fancy type of printer paper. Tried to pass off one at the local gas station and promptly got a visit from the FBI or whatever organization investigates this type of thing. Not sure what type of trouble he got in, but I don't think he ended up going to jail or anything as I saw him around years later. His parents were rich though so there's that.


banknotes have hidden patterns which printers and scanners will detect. [Here's a video about it.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMR25RSOzFo)


Surprise Tom Scott is always welcome. Thank you friend.


Not always. He's a nice guy, but what if you were in a rush and went to open the toilet lid and there he was.


I am standing here, up your ass.


[stop and learn something new](https://youtu.be/HfHgUu_8KgA) ...then wet myself


Wait, so you can't print a dollar bill but you can print a photo of a dollar bill?


I was under the impression color printers had similar detection to prevent this, not just scanners and photoshop. But don't take my word for it, I'm just a random person online vaguely remembering a factoid from a decade ago.


If I'm not mistaken there are very subtle finger prints built into most printers that can serialize information into a watermark for identification. The detection methods aren't perfect but it doesn't matter much when every print can be traced to the printer it came from.


There are hackers that have reverse engineered the software and removed that shit. Fuck the gov tracking my Mapquest printouts.


Yeah, these days you have to take a photo of bank notes, import it until photoshop for color corrections/lighting/etc, and then print it out on high quality linen paper using the best printer you can find I mean, at least that's what I've heard, counterfeiting is a crime I wouldn't know anything about it


If you use linen paper do you have to finish it with hairspray to pass the pen test?


I wouldn't know but that sounds like something that might work


I've just seen the bleached bills thing lately. Had a really good looking fake come through my job recently.


Pen test is lugols solution, iodine plus potassium iodide. Used to refill the pens at work when they ran out. That was back when they were a few bucks a pen. It reacts with starch in the paper. 🤔


Photo shop also has alerting for currency just fyi. https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/cds.html




Federal Reserve-produced counterfeit bills are some of the best out there, and they tend to end up in banks.


Honestly, I've been having a problem with mine. The last few years, I keep trying to spend them, but keep getting less and less stuff back every time. 2 years ago, I gave the gas station attendant a federal reserve produced countefeit $20 and he let me fill up half a tank. Just last week i tried the same and barely got 4 gal. Same at the grocery store, etc. I think they're starting to catch on.


Trying to get photoshop to accept a reproduction of a bank note is an absolute nightmare.


U.S. Treasury: hahaha, fuck you for trying. Now go buy more cyan.


More like magenta


Printers: "Why not both?"


Fuck, this is the truth. I only print in b&w but I buy more color ink than I do black ink.


The joke is that no matter what color you use, even if it’s exclusively black ink, eventually the printer will say “Can’t print, refill cyan” and your printer is bricked until you buy more expensive ass ink you didn’t need.


I had an old HP scanner back in the day that wouldn't even scan money.


When I tried to scan money, my scanner re-targeted the scanning laser, drew a power surge, cut off my hand.


A little known fact is that this is actually the modern Yakuza finger-removal technique. It is less messy, and the laser cauterizes the wound.


I like how it just wastes a shit load of your ink.


Instant fine


That would be a nice little concept in a dystopian novel.


It's built into every printer sold in the United States by law.


So if you import a printer you can finally get shitty fake money?


Or just dust off the one that’s been in the corner since 2003.


Why though? You will never be able to make even slightly believable money with a simple printer.


Because anyone who produces printers salivates at the chance to make them unusable, garbage products in yet another way.


People bleach real dollars and then print $100 on them.


That's actually kind of neat! I wondered why the guy that I sold my car to, paid me in red cash! Now I know! Never too old to learn, I guess.


dumbass bought your red printed car


You wouldn't ~~download~~ print a car...


We probably literally will in a few decades lol


The one-sided bills didn’t raise suspicion?


No, he duckt taped the two sides together


>duckt It’s like you weren’t sure to type duct or duck so you went for both.


Printing double sided is standard on most modern printers


Definitely had a cashier accept a fake $100 that was literally two printed sides taped together. It wasn’t even the correct size. The store was extremely busy though and he was a backup cashier regularly working in another department.


Thats about $40 worth of ink you've wasted!




Somebody gonna drink this milk!


If you need prop money you can buy stacks at pretty much any dollar store I paid $1.60 for 50 $100 bills


Infinite money glitch?!


Life hacks


Take out the red ink of your printer and do it again


Most printers will stop working


\*Want to print in black\* "Fuck you! Out of magenta."


Because most printers use colour ink to make high quality gray-scale. Deep in the windows control panel for the printer, there is option to print black ink only gray-scale


Cool. I need to print an email. Let us chose


Pro tip, while this is common in almost all modern printers they all run off basic chips which you can disable such settings from by googling your model and instructions.


Back in my day printers didn't give a shit


Yep, a friend of mine scanned/printed about $20,000 and honestly it looked pretty realistic. I think he used the money to buy drugs from stupid dealers. Late 90's-2000 were wild.


How to make a small issue much much larger


All the scams I can't run anymore because there are HD cameras fucking everywhere


My friend did this in middle school, early 2000s Printed 20s and used it to buy a 1$ cookie at school (where the registers were run by other students, so 12 year olds lol). Then he got $19 of legit change back Saved up enough to buy a ps3 and nice headphones Then one day the secret service came to school and pulled him out of class.


What happened to him?


they dragged him out behind the trash bins and shot him in the back of the head twice


Ah, a Russian suicide.


Ah so it it was suicide then


Believe it or not, straight to jail.


Well, the bank is gonna be really confused when the little, vinyl zipper cash pouch from the school’s deposit has cheap printer paper bills.


That sounds like suicide with extra steps.


yeah pretty sure my dumb ass did this in the early 00's to buy shit from ice cream vendors. smh


I worked at a gas station many years ago and someone set a fake bill on the counter and some items. I could have been more invested in the situation and pushed things but i like to stay out of things/do the bare minimum in stressful situations. So i say "if you use that id have to use this counterfeit pen on it. If it turns black i would have to call the police." He put the bill back in pocket and used a different bill. Nothing else was said.


I used to be a cashier in Canada and never bothered to check if the 50's or 100's people would sometimes pay with were legit or not. Since our bills are plastic and pretty intricate, if someone managed to copy them in a way that wasnt blatantly obvious I'd assume they're quite the mastermind of which I didn't need to be on the wrong side of... I was also making below minimum wage at the time because I was a student. I wasn't being paid enough to scan peoples groceries AND be a stand in for CSIS.


[Now would probably be a good time to point out that color printers can leave identifying "bread crumbs" on everything you print.. ](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_Identification_Code)


Looks a bit Andy Warhol-ish


That is a security feature. Certain documents print in red when reproduced.


It's because of the [EURion Constellation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation) in some bills.


Wait if you drew that pattern on a peice of paper would it not let you copy it? Has it ever happened accidentally


someone test this now


better yet, put that pattern on your art to stop art theft by shady printing companies?


or better yet, if you took out one of the dots in the constellation, could you suddenly photocopy it?


>in some bills So if we keep trying, it might work?


I assume you were trying to photocopy money so you’d be in the black and not in the red...


Get out.


fun fact: this is because of a [pattern](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation) found on money


But why would you photocopy money? Just curious.


Son was practicing a magic trick and I didn't want him ruining real 20's lol


Id look for a Image on google, download, put in a Word document guessing or measuring the size and printing it from there


You can prop buy prop bills from somewhere cheaply. Yeah the normal once are obvious, but there are also aperently high grade once that look and feel like the real thing, but are blank on one side. Used mainly for close up shots of stacks of money in movies.


They said they didn't want their son wasting money.


You can also download prop money images and just print those


I can imagine someone trying to do it to make kids play money or maybe to write a message on it as a joke.


I'd see photocopying money to make art with money, like cash origami or cash paper mache. Or maybe in use on movie sets.


While working at a gas station years ago I learned that newspaper is just like real money and doesn't mark. Take that knowledge and do with it what you will.


Every photocopier sold in the US is designed to recognize US Currency, and not reproduce it.


There’s actually a pattern on the bill that is on many world currencies that printers are programmed to recognize.


Blood Money.


Anti counterfeiting built into every printer. Printers also print an invisible to the eye identifier onto everything that you print to make it traceable


“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”


God damn printer saving your ass from doing five years in the fed prison system.


When I was younger me and my cousin decided to try to copy a 10 dollar bill for fun. The only thing that came out was a blank page that said “this is property of the United States government.” We were so scared we’d be getting in trouble real soon lol


My friend did that in high school, gave it to a friend, and the Secret Service showed up to his high school. DON'T do that.


What happened to your friend?


He had a felony on his record until it was expunged when he turned 18. This was back around 2001.


Nice your printer has also pinged the Secret Service too


That's the blood of the Trail of Tears.


Printers have sided with the state. Plus they have an excuse to use all your ink


To all the people saying to expect a visit, you wont get one. Unless you try to use it. At worst, you are on a watch list. But considering how easy it is to get on watchlists, you shouldnt really be worried about it. Ive probably been on one since six grade and im almost 40 now.