Kauai police urge public to be aware of counterfeit money

Local News

Kauai police are warning the public to be on the lookout for counterfeit money that is circulating around the island.

Several vendors at an outdoor market in Kapa’a recently reported suspects attempting to use fake $100 bills to pay for merchandise. Most business owners immediately recognized the bills as fakes due to red Chinese markings on the bills and notified police.

The police department has recovered several fake $100 bills and each bill has the red Chinese markings printed on it. Detectives warn that suspects will likely try to remove those markings from the bills and they don’t know how much counterfeit money is in circulation.

“Particularly at this time of the year, when consumer spending is at its peak and stores are busy, we urge both businesses and consumers to be aware of their money,” said Richard Rosa, acting assistant chief of the Investigative Services Bureau. “Once a counterfeit bill is accepted, it can be difficult to track down the suspect or recover funds, so it is important to be on alert. If you suspect a counterfeit bill, call police immediately.”

While the bills recovered recently appear to have Chinese markings, there are a variety of counterfeits. They can vary from fake bills printed on regular paper, to actual bills that are “washed” and reprinted with a new denomination. Washed bills are especially difficult to identify because a counterfeit detection pen won’t always detect a fake, so business owners and employees must know what to look for when examining money.

To properly identify counterfeit bills, KPD offers these tips:

Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and look for differences, not similarities.

A genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out from the background, while a counterfeit portrait will appear lifeless and flat.

The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On counterfeit, the lines may be broken or indistinct.

Genuine serial numbers have a distinct style and are evenly spaced, and they are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury seal. If the color of the Treasury Seal does not match the color of the serial number, the bill is fake.

For more tips on how to detect counterfeit money, visit the U.S. Secret Service website at www.secretservice.gov.

Anyone with information on individuals involved in the making or circulating of counterfeit bills are urged to call police immediately at 241-1711. Anonymous tipsters may call CrimeStoppers at 246-8300.

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