Police warn of fake money
by Rory Doyle
Dec 28, 2012 | 1231 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The problem of counterfeit bills appearing in Cleveland businesses is becoming an ongoing issue.

Cleveland Police Chief Charles "Buster" Bingham said about 5-15 bills are being reported to the police each week.

"The numbers are down a little bit from previous yeas, but the fact that we're still discovering the bills means it's still a problem."

Cleveland typically sees a rise in fake money around the holiday season each year.

"This is the time of year that it usually starts cropping up," said Bingham. "Usually when people start spending a lot more money and stores get busier because of the holidays, it's easier to pass bills off as real because cashiers are busier or distracted.

"We encourage cashiers to mark their bills and give us a call if they're still suspicious after marking them — we'll come check it out. It's worth their time marking."

Sometimes businesses don't mark bills until the end of the day, making it difficult to narrow down the suspects.

According to the United States Secret Service website, the American public plays a supporting role maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency.

Becoming more familiar with the bills helps fight against the threat of counterfeit.

The Secret Service recommends paying attention to the following details:

Portrait: The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. Counterfeit portraits are usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background that is often too dark or mottled.

Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals: On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt or broken saw-tooth points.

Border: The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the fakes, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.

Serial Numbers: Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.

Paper: Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspections often reveal on counterfeits that the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.