Know Your Currency: How to spot a fake bill

(Gillette, Wyo.) On Wednesday, we learned that the Secret Service was joining an investigation with the Gillette Police Department over several counterfeit bills that have been discovered circulating Campbell County. We talked to Special Agent in Charge Kerri O'Grady, who works with the Denver bureau of the Secret Service, about how to spot counterfeits yourself. Since the Secret Service doesn't comment on ongoing investigations, we don't know what exactly was "faked" about the notes found this past week in Gillette. But Agent O'Grady says that there are so many different ways that people fake currency, it's easier to familiarize yourself with the actual thing, instead of the forgeries. "I don't advocate for the counterfeit pens. They can give both a false positive and a false negative reading," she said. "The best way to spot counterfeits is to really know what true currency looks like." The Secret Service and the U.S. Treasury both have guides on their website explaining how your cash should actually look. There's a PDF you can check out with illustrations of the special security measures taken on new money, printed after the redesigns in 2004. [image: fakery.png] - Check the portrait of the president, the Treasury seal, the border design. They should all be crisp and clear, and stand out from the background. - Look at the serial numbers. They should be the exact same color as the Treasury seal, and neatly and evenly spaced and aligned. - Paper money isn't paper. It's 25% linen and 75% cotton, giving it a different weight and feel than a piece of paper. - Real currency has a security thread or a 3-D security ribbon woven in vertically that will show up when you hold it to the light. - "New money" -- currency printed in the last ten years or so, has a watermark you can see from both sides in the light. - The color of the printing on the bill will shift from copper to green depending on how you hold it. A lot of the calls the Secret Service gets about possible counterfeits are people unfamiliar with the older style of cash -- the kind that has the smaller portraits of Jackson, Lincoln, etc. The Secret Service calls them the "small faces." "People are so used to the newer currency that they get older notes and think they received a counterfeit," says O'Grady. "But you can always call the Department of Treasury and the Secret Service office with any questions." The Secret Service has been running their "Know Your Money" campaign since 1937. If you're unfamiliar with "old money," check out this National Archives film from 1939 that explains it all: #county17 #news -- *Brenda Kirk* Community Maven for | 614.940.7121 Twitter | Instagram | Facebook PitchEngine™ | *Connecting Communities* | Twitter | Facebook