Counterfeit Bills Found at Local Businesses

August 18, 2015

July 9, 2015 - Cambridge, Ohio - Local businesses should be aware of counterfeit $100 bills that have surfaced in the local area and surrounding Zanesville in the recent weeks.

The Cambridge Police Department has alerted the area that counterfeit bills, mostly $100 bills, have been presented at businesses in the Cambridge area. These bills have passed the counterfeit-detection pen test, but are missing some key items from a real $100 bill. When holding the counterfeit bill up to the light, these bills do not have the hologram/watermark of Franklin or the security thread (plastic strip) running from top to bottom on the left of the Federal Reserve Seal. These bills also do not have the tiny red and blue fibers embedded in the paper that all U.S. bills have. The recovered counterfeit bills have had the same serial number, so be on the lookout for number G20147087A.

"When in doubt, you don't have to take a bill," says Captain Baker of the Cambridge Police Department. "Feel free to call our office and request an officer to come out and look at suspicious bills. We are here to help." If your business feels they have received a counterfeit bill, please contact the Cambridge Police Department at 740-432-5202.

Your BBB offers tops to detect counterfeit U.S. $100 bills

  1. Feel the texture of the paper. Counterfeit money will often feel distinctly different from authentic money. Authentic money is made from cotton and linen fibers. This differs significantly from normal paper, which is made from trees. Real money is made to be more durable and should feel crisp despite its age; normal paper becomes torn and soft when worn.
  2. Hold the bill up to the light. There should be a security thread (plastic strip) running from top to bottom. The thread is embedded in (not printed on) the paper and runs vertically through the clear field to the left of the Federal Reserve Seal. On authentic bills, this should be easily visible against a light source. The printing should say "USA" followed by $100. You should be able to read the inscriptions from both the front or back of the note. Also, it should only be visible against a light source.
  3. Check for watermarks, Use natural light to see if your bill bears an image of Benjamin Franklin on the bill. A watermark bearing the image of the person whose portrait is on the bill can be found on all $100 bills series 1996 and later. The watermark is embedded in the paper to the right of the portrait and should be visible from both sides of the bill. 
  4. Tilt the bill to examine the color-shifting ink. Color shifting ink is ink that appears to change color when the bill is tilted. Color-shifting ink can be found on $100 dollar bills series 1996 and later. 
  5. Look for differences not similarities. Counterfeit bills, if they're any good at all, will be similar to real ones in many ways, bit if a bill differs in just one way, it's probably fake.
  6. Don't just rely on the pen. The Secret Service and U.S. Treasury do not recommend relying solely on a counterfeit marker pen. These pens can only indicate whether the note is printed on the wrong kind of paper (they simply react to the presence of starch). As such, they will catch some counterfeits, but they won't detect more sophisticated fakes and will give false-negatives on real money has been through the wash.