Counterfeit Money Discovered in Carbondale

Jan 25, 2018

The Carbondale Police Department says it's received three reports of counterfeit money from local businesses.

In one case, a suspect attempted to pass a counterfeit bill at a business in the 600 block of East Main Street at about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. The suspect was described as a black male, about 20 years old, with a thin build and wearing a maroon sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

While the investigation into these cases is ongoing, the police department encourages business owners to train employees who handle money on the numerous means of detecting counterfeit bills.

• Employees should be aware of the presidential watermarks and security strips present in legitimate $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 cash bills. Those two features should be easily viewable when the bills are held up to a light source.

• Employees should also be familiar with the texture of legitimate cash bills. Their unique composition of cotton and linen distinguishes them from counterfeit bills, which most commonly feel like standard printing paper.

• Counterfeit bills will often exhibit uneven edges and border lines, as well as text and graphics that are not as sharp as those on legitimate bills. Counterfeit bills can also be smaller in overall size.

• Recurring serial numbers are common when counterfeit bills are presented during the same transaction. There is only one serial number issued for each legitimate bill.

• Counterfeit bills may display “For Motion Picture Use Only”

• Counterfeit bill detector pens, available in most office supply stores, are an effective tool for immediately identifying suspected forged bills. However, the pens will only tell if the currency paper is genuine. The pens are not effective in cases where genuine currency is altered to reflect a higher denomination. In these instances, a secondary check for the security strips, watermark or micro-printing should be conducted.

Any person who thinks someone is trying to spend a counterfeit bill at their business should contact the Carbondale Police Department and attempt to keep the person who presented the bill inside the business until police arrive. Officers will need to interview the person to determine a possible origin of the bill.