The holiday shopping season kicks off in just over a week and merchants need to be wary as more counterfeit money is appearing in the Hawkeye State. After several bogus bills were passed along the Interstate 80 corridor in western Iowa, Marshalltown Police Chief Lon Walker says the fakes are showing up in his town, in denominations including 20s, 50s and 100s, of varying quality.
Chief Walker says the 20s are not of very good quality and can be revealed as fakes with a little checking. The 50s are a little better and can stand up to more scrutiny. The 100s are excellent in quality and are able to pass all but one of the security measures that usually weed out counterfeits.
Walker says businesses can determine the validity of the 20-dollar bills with a counterfeit marking pen, but the 50s and 100s are more sophisticated. He says the actual 50s show a glowing fluorescent strip when held under a black light, the fakes don’t.
On the 100s, tiny pieces of blue and red fibers are woven into the bills on the real ones — not the fakes. Walker says the bogus 50 and 100-dollar bills even have the water marks like authentic currency. He says business owners who believe they have been given a counterfeit bill have a couple of avenues to determine its authenticity.
Walker says the Secret Service is the leading the investigation and it’s believed the bills are being generated by a high quality printing press rather than by computer generation.