Counterfeit money spotted in Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Counterfeit money spotted in Albany

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Check your money.   Is it real?  Albany Police say counterfeit bills are showing up all over town, especially in stores and restaurants.

And these are such good reproductions, they're not even being detected with counterfeit pens and markers.

These counterfeit bills pass those pen tests because they are real money. What these counterfeiters are doing is taking a real bill, like a $10 bill, and changing the amount number to make it look like a $100 bill. Police say businesses can't rely on those pens, they have to be on the lookout for this phony money.

Hollis Hood, the owner of Rooster's in Albany has learned a lot about counterfeit money in the last week, after someone passed a counterfeit $20 bill in his restaurant.

 Hood said "Inside these bills is the hologram on them. On the $10 bill there is a hologram of Hamilton's face right here. They can't change that."

Albany Police say counterfeiters are changing to larger denominations like $100 bills.

Albany Police Spokesman Steve Butler said "They will actually take a new bill, say a ten dollar bill, and bleach the ten out and add another zero, making it look like a one hundred dollar bill."

Over the weekend Steak and Shake, Waffle House, and the Krystal at Westover and Dawson all took counterfeit $100  bills. Police say you can't rely on those test pens.

Hood said "If you check it, it will mark with the pen valid, but if you check it, if the hologram is not the same, you know it's not real."

Police are urging businesses to make sure their cashiers know which President is on which bill, and check them closely.

Butler said "Promote a policy where if it's a $50 bill or higher that they actually have the manager review the bill and certify it before they actually change it."

Hood said he has taught his employees. Hood said "We spent a lot of time talking to them, that's for sure, because if you miss a 20 dollar bill here and there, hopefully it doesn't happen, but it can add up."

And he said in these bad economic times a few counterfeit bills could sink a struggling business.

Albany Police say businesses owners need to be careful, and at least check each bill for the correct President on the face. Andrew Jackson is on a $20, Ulysses Grant on the $50, and Benjamin Franklin on the $100. You hold the bill up to the light, you can see the safety strip on the left side, and the hologram on the right.

Counterfeiting carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison for each phony bill.

You can learn more about counterfeit and real money at  http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml 

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