SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – According to the Springfield Police Department, businesses have been finding several counterfeit bills.
“During the month of June, we noticed we had nine separate incidents where we had a counterfeit currency that was passed or attempted to be passed. Of those nine, eight of them were $100 bills and one of them was a $20 bill,” said Lt. Jason Laub with the Property Crimes Unit.
Laub said a way to tell the difference between a real and fake bill is by touch.
“(Real bills) comes across as a little more gritty, and that’s because of the material that the inks printed on. And some of the ink itself is a little bit risen,” said Laub about. “So when you touch it, it feels rough. Not like regular paper.”
He said there are also color-shifting images that change from copper to green when you tilt the bill. There is also a security thread that appears vertically to the left side of the portrait on a $20 bill. If you light that up with a UV or black light, it will turn bright green. In the case of a $100 bill, it will light up as bright pink.
“If you hold the note up to light, a light image of President Jackson will appear in the bottom right corner,” said Laub of $20 bills. “And for the $100 bill, a light image of Benjamin Franklin will appear in that same location in the bottom right corner.”
Counterfeit pens could be purchased to distinguish real bills from fake ones. These pens detect starch in the paper. Most paper is made from some form of starch, according to Laub. However, U.S. currency is made up of linen and cotton. When the pen marks real currency, it comes across as yellow. If it is a counterfeit, regular paper comes across as dark blue or black.
“It’s just the time of the season. Summertime, we see more garage sales, we see more sporting events where we have a lot of money being exchanged through people that don’t normally handle money. They work in the parking lot and taking money from people coming in. And… we just want them to be more familiar with the security features; to know what they’re looking for,” said Laub