Counterfeit Cash

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Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 10:27am

Could you be carrying phoney money? A secret service agent shows you how to spot counterfeits.

Cathy Deary says she had no idea three of the $100 she withdrew from her local Chase bank turned out to be fake. She only found out they were phony when she paid a cab driver while traveling in New York.

Cathy says "he went to get gas after immediately following dropping me off and when he gave them one hundred dollars to pay for the gas to pay for the gas the attendant called the police."

She found out the hard way what can happen when you end up with counterfeit bills in your wallet.

Cathy says "and the bank basically said once the money leaves the bank its your responsibly. They're not responsible for it."

Experts say about 1/10th of 1% of all American bills in the world are fakes. Knowing what real money looks like as opposed to the fakes can be challenging to the untrained eye. So there are six security features you need to look for when trying to figure out if it's real or a fake.

Secret Service Agent Robert Heyer says "if you were to pick it up I think the very first thing you would feel is the paper and know that something was not right this paper doesn't feel like my genuine currency does."

Key things to look for include red and blue security fibers. You'll need a magnifying glass to really see these. The portrait of the person should be detailed. The phony bills lack definition. Legit money will have a watermark as well as polyurethane strips embedded into the bill. The fake ones will not. And one last test: look for the color shifting ink in the bottom right hand corner. It should turn from gold to a darker color.

Cathy deary never knew about checking for these features, but she knows now.

Cathy says "I'll never take out large bills, and if by chance I ever have to do that I will tell them they have to run them through the machine before I leave."
 

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