Riverside Sheriffs warn of local counterfeit money


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At Tuesday's meeting of the POA Board of Directors, General Manager Christopher Mitchell passed on a warning from the Riverside Sheriff's Department that a large quantity of counterfeit money was showing up in Menifee. Canyon Lake residents are advised to take precautions when handling cash transactions.

The following information is from www.secretservice.gov:

How To Detect Counterfeit Money

The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. You can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency. Look at the money you receive. Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and series, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics. Look for differences, not similarities.

? Portrait ? The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background which 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 counterfeit, 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 inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note 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.

What to do if you have counterfeit currency? Since the consequences for passing counterfeit currency include fines up to $5,000 or imprisonment up to 15 years, you need to be careful.  

The following information is provided by www.treasury.gov:

if you suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity, report it immediately to the U.S. Secret Service, or to local police.

  1. Do not put yourself in danger.

  2. Do not return the bill to the passer.

  3. Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible.

  4. Observe the passer's description ? and their companions' descriptions ? and write down their vehicle license plate numbers if you can.

  5. Contact your local police department or call your local U.S. Secret Service Office.

  6. Write your initials and date in the white border area of the suspected counterfeit note.

  7. Do not handle the counterfeit note. Place it inside a protective cover, a plastic bag or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hands of an identified Secret Service Agent.

  8. Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a Secret Service Special Agent, or mail it to your nearest U.S. Secret Service field office.

Please Note: There is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, but it is doing the “right thing” to help combat counterfeiting.

This note from Facebook:

Writing on this subject on The Friday Flyer's Facebook page, Sean Simmons says, "I work security at Morongo Casino and (counterfeit detection) pens don't work. All they check is the ink. There are eight security features on a bill but the big three that are the hardest to fake are: paper quality, it should feel like mostly cloth; micro printing around the edges should be clearly readable when magnified; and the metal security strip should say “USA100” or whatever denomination the bill is. The most common counterfeit is a washed $5 laser printed over with a $20. Catch that by Abe Lincoln watermark and the security strip and it will feel more like a dry leaf because its been baked in the oven."