Unfortunately, counterfeit money is not an uncommon occurrence on the South Plains. The U.S. Secret Service says it has confiscated $5,000 worth of counterfeit money in our region in the past month alone.
Cloey Chancy with the United States Secret Service Agency says criminals will stop at nothing to make 20's, 50's and 100's look like the real thing. "We investigate it everyday," says Secret Service Agent, Cloey Chancy.
|Recognizing Counterfeit Money|
She says the most commonly manufactured bill is the 20, but criminals have tried to manufacture all bills. "Today most of the bills we receive are done on a computer and it's just scanned into the computer and print it out," says Chancy.
Sounds easy to do but recognizing a counterfeit bill is just as simple. "The main thing is the feel of the bill because money is actually made on linen and cotton paper," says Chancy.
Another sign of a fake bill, is the absence of a watermark. "If you hold it up to the light, you'll see a watermark and it should match the watermark the head that's on there, like if Jackson is on the $20, then you should see Jackson's face in that watermark to the right hand side of his head," says Chancy.
Often times fake bills are passed from the counter to the customer. That's why convenience stores become prime targets. King's Food and Gas is taking precautions. "We've got the counterfeit pens at the register and any bills of a big denomination we'll run the pen through them. Also any bills that look washed or altered we'll check them with our counterfeit pens," says Robert Ramirez, Owner of King's Food and Gas.
You can buy a counterfeit pen at any office supply store for just a few bucks. The pen will change color when marked on a fake bill.
If you care caught passing, possessing or manufacturing fake bills you could spend at least 20 years in prison.