How to spot counterfeit cash

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - Counterfeit money arrests were made in Bismarck Thursday. Now, authorities say the fake dollars are circulating beyond the city.

Police in Mandan say they've also had cases of counterfeit money this week. So what should you look for on the money you handle?

Marcie Kevin authorities say taking the time to look and feel money can save you the headache of losing cash.

Fake twenty dollar bills have recently been located in Bismarck Mandan according to police. Shawna Kost at Dakota Community Bank & Trust says it's a year round problem.

"The employees will just catch it based on the touch or look of the bill," said Shawna Kost, risk manager at Dakota Community Bank & Trust.

Bismarck Police Investigations Sergeant Roger Marks says it can be difficult to trace counterfeit money back to a suspect or suspects. He says counterfeit bills will often feel soft, have discoloration, and wrong printing. There's another way to put some bills to the test.

Police say a simple light can prove if a bill is real or counterfeit.

"Each bill that is 1996 and newer, from 5 dollars on up should have a security thread in it and that security thread will luminess a different color for each denomination under a UV light," said Marks.

Kost says last year the bank had about 10 cases of counterfeit money. She says it mostly affects business owners who don't find out about the fake cash until it's too late.

"You definitely want to look for those security features right away and you can do it either discreetly or take it back to your back room or take it to a supervisor," said Kost.

If you are caught passing counterfeit money you are looking at a felony state charge.

Marks couldn't emphasize enough that if you think you you are handling counterfeit money, trust your instinct and report it.