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Jan 06

Police say counterfeiters passing fake money at Iowa businesses, offer tips

dollars-moneyCEDAR RAPIDS – The Cedar Rapids Police Department reported today that they have collected thousands of dollars in fake currency from local businesses, and offered tips to merchants on identifying counterfeit money.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has been investigating several incidents of counterfeit $100 bills being passed at businesses over the past week. There has already been over $3,000 in fake currency that has been collected. In many incidents, the fake bills have been easily identified as counterfeit. The Police Department would like to remind businesses and the public to take a moment to look at the bills upon presentation to help combat this crime and reduce loss significantly.

When accepting any bills, look for red and blue fibers embedded throughout the bill. Also, look for watermarks that can be seen when the bill is held up to the light that indicates that the currency is real. The currency will be spelled out in the watermark. Sometimes the feel of the counterfeit money is different as well.

The Police Department also encourages use of counterfeit currency pens. These pens will either cause the ink to run or react to the starches of paper in counterfeit money.

If you suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity, please report it immediately to the Cedar Rapids Police Department. If someone presents what you suspect to be a counterfeit note to you or your business, please consider the following safety reminders that are available on the United States Secret Service website:

1. Do not put yourself in danger.
2. Do not return the bill to the passer.
3. Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible.
4. Observe the passer’s description – and their companions’ descriptions – and write down
their vehicle license plate numbers if you can.
5. Contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department at (319) 286-5491.
6. DO NOT handle the counterfeit note. Place it inside a protective cover, a plastic bag, or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hands of a Police Officer. Surrender the note or coin ONLY to a properly identified police officer.

For more information about how to detect counterfeit money, please see the United States Currency website at https://uscurrency.gov/

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