It's funny money, but no one's laughing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

It's funny money, but no one's laughing

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June 14, 2006

Tifton - Counterfeit money is being passed around in Tifton. Fake twenty dollar bills have been found at several businesses. Police remind you how to spot bogus bills.

The easiest way to check for funny money is to take a few seconds and simply look at it, says Detective Shane Benefield, "Just look at the paper quality of it. I have two bills here. One's counterfeit and one's real."

But if you're eyes deceive you, there are other ways to make sure it's legit.  Benefield says, "There's several other things you want to look at. There's fiber marks. They marked it."

Marked with a special pen that detects counterfeit cash. Cashier Tammy Croy says, "We have a marker that we use to mark bills with and if it turns a different color, we know that it's a counterfeit."  Benefield says, "They caught it and it was fake."

And there are things that are just too hard for most criminals to replicate.  "What you want to look for is watermarks," says Benefield.  "If you turn this up to the light, you can see the image of the President actually inside the bill."

And here's another neat trick. If you have a black light handy, just hold the bill up to that. All watermarks and the strip on the left side of the bill will shine through, and hopefully the funny money won't go through anymore hands.

If you are given a fake bill, do not return it to the passer. Keep it and call police or the Secret Service.  Also get a description of the person who passed it and any identifiable information.

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