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New Wave of Sophisticated Fake Money
COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- A new wave of counterfeit money is coming into Columbus. Federal agents said it looks more genuine than most of the other fake money they encounter.
Half a million dollars in fake bills come into Central Ohio every year. These new bills are coming from Peru. Agents said the attention to detail in the fake bills is remarkable.
"The detail on a Peruvian (bill) is so much better as far as the micro-printing, the small printing on the bill," said US Secret Service Agent Jonathan Schuck. "It matches the genuine (bills) a lot better than the other ones."
Schuck said it's not always easy to spot the fakes.
"If you grab this bill and you're like, 'this doesn't feel right', take a good look at the security features on the bill," he said.
Make sure the watermark matches the man on the bill. Benjamin Franklin is the only man you should see on a $100 bill.
Also, if you have a black light, look for the red stripe on the $100 bill. Bills worth other amounts will have different colored stripes under a black light.
If a bill is splitting on its edge, it's fake. Agents said real bills won't do that.
Sometimes just feeling the texture of the bill can tip you off.
"You really got to go off your feel," Schuck said. "If you handle cash a lot, you know the difference."
If you're on the go and in a hurry, sometimes a quick side-by-side comparison is the best way to go.
"If you're ever in doubt, get a genuine note and compare them," he said. "That's really the best way to do it."
Banks, the police and the Secret Service can verify bills if you're unsure. Don't take a bill if you are afraid it's fake because you can't get a refund for handing in a counterfeit note.