Police warn of counterfeit money circulating


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Local police agencies are warning shoppers and business owners to be on the lookout for counterfeit money circulating. The Utica Police Department along with the United States Secret Service and other local police agencies is currently investigating approximately 50 reports of counterfeit currency being passed within the past month.

While detecting counterfeit money if often a tricky thing, there are some things to look out for. The U.S. Secret Service suggests comparing the bill to a note of the same series and denomination that is known to be genuine, paying attention to the quality of printing and paper characteristics and also to look for differences, not similarities.

The portrait on a genuine bill appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background, counterfeit portraits are often lifeless and flat with details merging into the background.

The bill's border should consist of fine lines that are clear and unbroken. On counterfeit bills, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.

A genuine bill's serial numbers also have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The numbers should be printed in the same ink color as the Treasury seal.
The serial numbers often differ in color or shade of ink from the seal on counterfeit bills.

Other tips to detecting counterfeit money can be found at and (Bureau of Engraving and Printing's website).

Police also recommend business owners and employees take extra time to examine any currency given to them to avoid being passed any counterfeit bills.

If you have a counterfeit bill, contact the Utica Police Department at 315-735-3301 and/or the U.S. Secret Service's Syracuse Field Office at 315-448-0304.

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