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Authorities: Counterfeit cash circulating in 11 states

January 19, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities: Counterfeit cash circulating in 11 states

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Authorities: Counterfeit cash circulating in 11 states

Multiple arrests involving counterfeit cash have been garnering attention in the press in more than 11 states, including New York, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan, in the last six months.

This week, New York City and Iowa both reported instances of fraudulent money popping up into the hands of business owners.

A bar manager in Manhattan, Ryan O’Neill, told CBS2 that more counterfeit bills, specifically $20 bills, have been surfacing in the area within the last two weeks. Another bar owner a few blocks away described the same problem, with some criminals even using fraudulent $5 and 1 dollar bills.

According to Fox Business, two people were taken into custody in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at a Walmart on Tuesday for trying to pay with fake $1 bills back in October.

Earlier this month, four people were charged in a counterfeit money scheme in upstate New York in Rochester that involved at least 16 local businesses over the last two months. Authorities said they have teamed up with the U.S. Secret Service to determine the origin of the counterfeit money.

The Department of Treasury estimates that over $70 million worth of counterfeit cash is currently in circulation, small and large businesses are being urged to be vigilant about fakes.

“I think it has been pretty consistent. There have recently been concerns whether North Korea might produce an uptick of their counterfeit bills given the sanctions and pressure put on them recently, but, counterfeit money seems to a steady crime that is always going on,” Alex Reichmann, counterfeit money expert, and CEO of iTestCash.com, said in an interview with FOX Business.

How to spot fake currency:

Tip #1: Always examine the feel of your bills. If it feels extra thick or thin, that can be a clear indication giveaway a bill is fake.

Tip #2: Compare to other bills. If you have a $5 or $10 bill that seems defective, just compare it to another bill and examine the feel and security features that are on the bill.

Tip #3: Inspect the printing quality of your bills. One strong indication a bill might be counterfeit is if the printing looks defective. Real bills should always have the same color hue. The ink should look clear and off-color or smudged.

Tip #4: Examine the portraits of bills. Fake bills can look very blended into the design.The portrait on real dollars should look very clear and stand out from the background,

Tip #5: Inspect closely on the rim of the portrait of the bill because it says, “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” repeated along the sides of it, which can be very hard for counterfeiters to replicate with printers due to its complex characteristics.

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