Iowa businesses are being reminded to be on the lookout for counterfeit cash.
Greg Buelow, spokesperson for the Cedar Rapids Police Department, says his city is seeing an increase in fake bills this week. “Between January 4th and January 7th, there’s been 19 incidents investigated, which is a pretty significant spike in counterfeit activity in the Cedar Rapids area,” Buelow says.
The denominations have been mostly $20 and $100 bills, but $2 and $50 notes have been passed as well. No one has been arrested in connection with the phony currency, but Buelow says the bills have some obvious flaws. “There was a 20-dollar currency note with borders that were uneven, so it wasn’t even cut correctly,” Buelow says. “The other ones are really grainy and you see a lot of pink tones to them.”
In some cases, the black ink has come off the notes. Buelow is reminding cashiers, when accepting bills, to take a moment and look them over. “One of the best things to do is look for the red and blue fibers embedded in the bill and the watermarks that can be seen when the bill is held up to the light that indicates that it’s real,” Buelow says. “Many of the fraudulent or counterfeit notes just weigh differently and have a different look to them. They don’t have that clear, crisp look.”
Buelow says most of the counterfeit cash found in Cedar Rapids this week wasn’t discovered until the business owner took the money to the bank.
Counterfeit currency reminders from United States Secret Service: www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml