IC Police Warn of Counterfeit Money

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Iowa City Police are warning retailers and residents of numerous counterfeit bills being passed throughout the community.

Police said the fake bills are printed on poor quality paper displaying Chinese characters printed on the front and back in bright red or pink ink.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends that retailers and businesses do the following when handling suspicious currency:

  • Feel the paper
    • Move your finger across the note. It should feel slightly rough to the touch as a result of the printing process and the unique composition of the paper.
  • Tilt the note
    • Tilt the note to see the ink in the numbers on the lower right corner change color. On the current style of notes, the color should change from copper to green. Color-shifting ink appears on denominations $10 and higher. The current style $100 note includes two additional security features you can check by tilting the note: a color-shifting bell in the inkwell and a 3-D security ribbon. The 3-D security ribbon contains images of bells and100s that shift as you tilt the note.
  • Check with light
    • Hold the note to light to check that the watermark and security thread are visible from the front and back of the note. The security thread is in a different location on each denomination $5 and higher. The watermarks on the $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes should match the portrait on the front of the note. The $5 note has numeral 5 watermarks.

If you believe you have received a counterfeit bill, the U.S. Treasury and the ICPD advise you to do the following:

  • Do not put yourself in danger
  • Do not return the bill to the passer
  • Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible
  • Observe the passer's description, and their companions' descriptions
  • Write down their vehicle license plate numbers, if you can
  • Immediately contact police

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