Local law enforcement warns of counterfeit bills circulating

Northeast Georgia law enforcement agencies are warning the public to watch for counterfeit bills.

On June 6, the Towns County Sheriff’s Office reported a customer received a fake $20 bill as change from a Town County store. Following that report, the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office cautioned, “Our neighbors are seeing counterfeit currency. It won’t be long before we do.”

How to spot fake currency

Towns County Sheriff Ken Henderson shared tips on how to recognize counterfeit currency:

  • Evaluate the feel of the paper. Generally, fake money does not have the crisp money feeling and the raised feeling of the black on the front of the bills.
  • Study the watermark on the right side of the bill. On some bills, it’s a replica of the face on the bill, and on others, it can be an oval spot. Hold the bill up to the light. The watermark should be visible on the right side of the bill. If you hold the bill toward the light and there is no watermark, or if you can see the watermark without holding the bill to the light, then the bill is probably counterfeit.
A counterfeit $20 bill (Towns County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)
  • Look for raised printing. Run your fingernail slowly and carefully down the note, you’ll feel resistance from the note and some vibrations on your nail from the ridges of the raised printing. A good location to check is the coat of the president.
  • Look for the fibers. Paper money is actually made of cotton and linen. Look for red and blue fibers that are embedded in the paper. Lines should not be printed or drawn on the bill.
  • Look for the plastic strip inside the bill. The strip goes from the top to the bottom of the bill. This does not apply to $1 and $2 bills.

What to do if you suspect you have a counterfeit bill

If you suspect you have received a counterfeit bill, contact your local law enforcement. Sheriff Hernandez advises, “Place it in an envelope and handle it as little as possible.”

For more information on identifying and reporting counterfeit bills, visit the Secret Service website and check out this guide: https://www.secretservice.gov/…/2020-12/KnowYourMoney.pdf.

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