Police Departments want you to keep a closer eye on your money this holiday season. Newport News police said they’ve seen an increase of counterfeit $100 bills.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — During the holiday hustle and bustle, a lot of shopping is done in a hurry. But local police departments want you to keep a closer eye on your money.
Newport News Police said they’ve seen an increase in the circulation of counterfeit $100 bills.
A second glance is what Secret Service agents said could save your wallet.
All counterfeit bills in the area are sent to the U.S. Secret Service Field Office in Norfolk.
“We have a steady stream of counterfeit year long, but during the holiday shopping season it does go up a little,” said Secret Service Resident Agent George Purefoy.
Agent Purefoy said last November and December they recovered $175,000 of counterfeit money in Hampton Roads. Newport News Police reported seeing the increase in fake $100 bills at Jefferson Commons and a nearby Trader Joe’s.
“They are in such a hurry and they are not paying attention,” Agent Purefoy said.
He said 12 percent of that fake money is what’s called self-identifiable counterfeit. He said shoppers should check for foreign writing.
“There are foreign caricatures on the front and sometimes on the back,” Agent Purefoy said.
The bill could also have the words “For Motion Picture Use Only.”
He said other types of counterfeit can look close to the real deal. However, real bills will include a combination of watermarks, color-shifting ink, security thread and serial numbers. They are security features criminals can’t duplicate.
“There is a 100 and a Liberty Bell that moves when you move the bill,” Purefoy said. “Inside the ink jar, there is a Liberty Bell that changes colors as well.”
That can be a lot to remember when checking off holiday shopping lists, but Purefoy said just double check your money.
“Take your time,” Purefoy said. “Look at your currency very carefully before accepting it.”
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