RENO, NV - Reno police are joining with the Northern Nevada Financial Crimes Task Force to warn local businesses there has been an increase in counterfeit $50 and $100 bills circulating this holiday season. Several of these bills have already been passed at Reno-area businesses. These bills are high quality design and businesses need to train their employees on what to look for before accepting any bills.
The best way to spot a counterfeit bill is to look for the security characteristic of genuine US currency.
The following characteristics are the most common to look for:
1) An embedded security strip that runs from to the top to the bottom of the bill. The strip will include the bill's denomination and the word USA, ie: “USA 100.” Small denominations (one, five, ten) will have the word, ie: "USA TEN", while larger bills will have a numerical value.
2) Colored security strip under a UV light. When placed under a simple UV light, the security strip will appear a different color than when held up to a normal light source.
3) A watermark image of the portrait on the front of the bill on all currency ($10, $20, $50, and $100) made since 1996. The watermark is the same image as the portrait and visible when the bill is held up to a light source.
4) Color shifting ink. Tilt the bill about 45 degrees; the color will appear to change from green to gold or black. Color shifting ink can be found on all $100, $50, and $20 dollar bill series 1996 and later, and on $10 dollar bills, 1999 and later. The shift in color will be uniform and very noticeable.
5) The fine print. The color, texture (feel) and fine clear print on all denominations should be crisp and well defined. Sloppy printing, paper like feel and off colors are commons clues to a counterfeit.
If you do suspect a person is passing fraudulent currency, keep any counterfeit currency separated from businesses cash drawers and contact your local police department.
For additional information on identifying true currency, go to www. Secretservice.gov/money.