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Crime of making an unauthorized imitation of a genuine article, typically money, with the intent to deceive or defraud. Because of the value conferred on money and the high level of technical skill required to imitate it, counterfeiting is singled out from other acts of forgery. It is generally punished as a felony (seefelony and misdemeanour). The international police organization Interpol was established primarily to organize law-enforcement efforts against counterfeiting. Software, credit cards, designer clothing, and watches are among nonmoney items commonly counterfeited.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on counterfeiting, visit Britannica.com.
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