Hawaii Island police report rise of counterfeit bills; tips to spot them

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Hawaii Island police are warning the public about an increase in counterfeit money in circulation.

Kona police officers have been responding to numerous calls about fake $100 bills. The phony money looks, feels, and appears to be real even after using the test pen, so police advise businesses and individuals to look for security features on the bank note itself.

  • Locate and read the plastic embedded security thread. It should say “USA” and the bill’s denomination.
  • Use an ultra-violet light to detect the thread glow color. The $5 bill should glow blue, the $10 bill should glow orange, the $20 bill should glow green and the $50 bill should glow yellow. In older versions, the $100 bill should glow pink, while the current $100 bill has a 3-D ribbon.
  • Hold the bill up to a light to check for a watermark.
  • Tilt the bill to examine the color-shifting ink.
  • With a magnifying glass, locate and examine the micro-printing.

If you find a fake bill, treat it as evidence by placing it into an envelope and calling police immediately.More information on detecting counterfeit money and security features can be found online here.

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