Secret Service warning businesses of counterfeit money increase | News
ALBANY, GA- The Secret Service is warning South Georgia businesses and people that they have seen an increase in counterfeit money in recent weeks and urging businesses to be diligent checking large denomination bills. Especially 100 dollar bills.
The Secret Service said crooks are taking this, a real 5 dollar bill, and making them look like a 100 dollar bill. And they say all you need to protect yourself is some knowledge and a flashlight.
Counterfeit bills like this one are showing up more frequently.
"It's the fives, that they have scrubbed the ink off of and then reprinted the image of a 100 dollar note on it," said U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Billy Joe Powers.
But when you shine a light on the watermark inside the bill, you see it's really a five. To a business like MaggieMoo's, taking a counterfeit hundred could cause real financial hardship.
"It hurts a small business real bad. If you are doing 500 to 600 dollars a day in sales and you take a 100 dollar bill that's bad, that's just lost money. You never get that back," said MaggieMoo's owner Lew Culpepper.
The Secret Service warns that those marking pens will not show this counterfeit scheme, because it's real paper. They say you need to check the internal watermark to make sure the presidents match, and the color shifting ink at the bottom right of every genuine bill.
"You don't need any special equipment. All you need is a light to look at and tilt the bill to see whether the ink shifts colors," said Powers.
You could get new infrared light bills checkers like this, that show the security stripe built inside of the currency paper.
"Each note has one of these, and it's in a little bit different place in each note. It's also in a different color for each denomination of a note," said Powers.
Businesses like Moe's stay busy, but they say checking for counterfeit bills is something businesses have to do every day.
"You work hard for your money, so you got to watch out for it. So you try to keep everybody informed and you try to keep them on their toes," said Moe's South Grill owner Mac Hare.
Because crooks are trying to pass counterfeit bills.
The Secret Service says everyone should check their bills when they get change. Feel the paper of a real bill, and if it feels different, take a look at the security features inside. It takes only a couple of seconds, and you know your money is real and secure.
If you have any questions or doubts if a bill is counterfeit or not, take it to your bank. Most are skilled at spotting funny money.
You can learn more about security features in real money and counterfeit bills by clicking here.
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