TOPEKA (KSNT)– According to Lieutenant Munoz at the Topeka Police Department, reports of counterfeit money from local businesses and community members are more common than you think.
Currently, in the United States, there is over $70 million of counterfeit money in circulation according to the United States Department of Treasury.
There are a few different ways people can identify counterfeit money.
First, check the strips on the sides of the bills and hold them up to the light. The side should spell out “USA” and if it is a one, five, or a ten, it will state that off to the side of the printed “USA”. If it is a higher bill, like a 50, it will state “USA 50” spelling it numerically.
Second, take a look at the ink. If it is raised ink, this is a sure sign of counterfeit money as real money is flat.
Third, make sure to check that the bill does not look faded or not centered.
Lastly, check the watermark on the back of the currency. If it does not look clear or change colors slightly when you move it, the bill could be counterfeit.
“If you do end up getting counterfeit money, it’s not like you can go to the bank and they’re going to give you a fresh, brand-new 100 dollar bill to replace your counterfeit one,” Lieutenant Munoz said. “You or your business are going to end up eating that loss.”
Lieutenant Munoz also advised the community to take their time looking at their money, especially when it comes to larger bills.
“If it doesn’t feel right, don’t take the money.”
If you end up receiving counterfeit money or what you believe is counterfeit, contact the Topeka Police Department.