Don't get stuck with counterfeit cash this summer

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - Fake money is popping up all over Springfield. According to online police records, dozens of people have reported counterfeit bills to Springfield police over the last month.

But can you spot a fake?

We spoke with Michele Shroyer, Branch Services Manager for Arvest Bank. She says there are a few things you can look out for when inspecting a bill. Is there a water mark? Real bills will have them. She says fake bills might have ink that fades or runs. Is the bill cut straight? Some fake bills won’t be. Also, Shroyer says to look for the security thread.

Jerry Penner stays busy behind the counter at a convenience store on Kearney. He says he’s always keeping an eye out for counterfeit bills, and it’s easy to spot a fake.

“This is the 100 he just gave me,” he said, “Of course, it’s got the blue stripe. So anytime it has this kind of deal, on a $100 bill; you’re automatically going to know. That is hard to reprint.”

He says a customer recently paid with a fake $20 bill. You can see the difference in the color of the bills, the real bill looks greener. Penner says he uses a counterfeit pen to look for fakes. He says holding it up to the light also helps.

Shroyer says you might come across a fake bill if you’re using an ATM that’s not at a bank, but in a store. She says money is run through a machine before it goes into bank ATMs, but not all store owners will go through the cash before stocking the ATM.

“We see it a lot in tourist-type communities, where there’s a lot of traffic coming in and out. They come in, unload some of that cash, and be out quick,” said Shroyer.

Penner says you should keep an eye out for counterfeit money anytime you’re dealing with cash, because it’s frustrating to get stuck with a fake.

“Well it is,” he said, “Because according to what I’ve been told by law enforcement, we’re supposed to turn it over. We’re not supposed to give it back. They’d recommend that you call them immediately. They’d like to talk to the people that are passing it.”

Shroyer says the Secret Service has a helpful diagram that helps people understand what authentic money looks like. You can find the link to it in the sidebar.