Friday, March 22, 2013

The cost of counterfeit bills

Police in Kentucky counties have had their hands full with recent fake money finds.

Counterfeit bills seem to be slipping through law enforcement's hands, and the more culprits they catch, the more fake money they're left tracking. In a special investigation, we sat down with the Secret Service to see the tell-tale signs of a fake bill.

Just recently, two counterfeiters were arrested in Jackson County, where police say a husband and wife team had $4,000 in fake bills. Also, law enforcement in Williamsburg arrested two people, accused of helping circulate thousands in fake cash.

"Counterfeit currency in and of itself is considered contraband and so if you have it, it's not legally held and so it can be seized and therefore you're out that amount of money," explained Secret Service Agent Paul Sims.

Many retailers use black lights and pens to make sure their cash sales are secure.

"If somebody has a $100 bill, and it's been passed on them and it's counterfeit, that's hard to recoup that money," Agent Sims said.

Agent Sims says anyone can spot a counterfeit bill. Real money has a watermark, color shifting ink, and a security thread.

"The problem is that a lot of people are very comfortable taking money, and because of that they just don't check," he said, "what we're really looking for and who we want is that person that's making that money. Not necessarily just the citizen that ends up with it."

Sims says it's important to spot counterfeit bills the minute you get them, because police will take the cash, even if you're not at fault.