Merchants are urged to be on the lookout for counterfeit $100 bills. The Michigan City Police Department received several reports of two to four black females trying to pass bogus money at stores, restaurants and gas stations Thursday evening. Authorities have at least eight victims and are reviewing video footage in an attempt to identify the suspects.
Similar incidents have been reported in other nearby communities as well. Authorities remind retail clerks and others who handle money for a living not to put themselves in danger when dealing with a possible counterfeiter. They say you should delay the passer if possible, get as good a description of them and any companions as possible and write down the license plate number of their vehicle. Contact the police immediately.
Retailers who accept counterfeit bills bear the entire burden of the loss. Even though bogus bills are becoming more sophisticated, there are still ways to spot phony money:
• Hold a bill up to a light and look for a holograph of the face image on the bill. Both images should match.
• Looking at the bill through a light will also reveal a thin vertical strip containing text that spells out the bill’s denomination.
• Color-shifting ink: If you hold the new series bill and tilt it back and forth, please observe the numeral in the lower right hand corner as its color shifts from green to black and back.
• Watermark: Hold the bill up to a light to view the watermark in an unprinted space to the right of the portrait. The watermark can be seen from both sides of the bill since it is not printed on the bill but is imbedded in the paper.
• Security Thread: Hold the bill a light to view the security thread. You will see a thin imbedded strip running from top to bottom on the face of a banknote. In the $10 and $50 the security strip is located to the right of the portrait, and in the $5, $20 and $100, it is located just to the left of the portrait.
• Use a “Detection Pen” to see if the bill changes color. Genuine bills are printed on paper based on cotton fibers, and do not contain the starches that are reactive with iodine. When the pen is used to mark genuine bills, the mark is yellowish or colorless. Brown or black are suspect.