KINGMAN - Someone in the Kingman area found a way around their short cash-flow problem. Two counterfeit $20 bills were turned into the Kingman Police Department by area stores on Nov. 23 and 24. Both bills had the same serial number.
The department is encouraging everyone to take extra precautions against the possibility of fraud during the holiday season, including taking a second look at that dollar bill in your hand.
According to the department, there are several ways to tell if a bill is counterfeit or not.
Feel the paper of the bill. U.S. currency is printed on higher quality paper.
Look closely at the paper the bill is printed on. Legitimate bills will have tiny red and blue threads running through the paper.
Compare two bills of the same denomination and series. The U.S. Treasury has made several changes to the design of U.S. bills in the past several years.
Most newer bills now have a bigger portrait, raised and color-changing ink in spots. Most bills have security threads and watermarks.
Take a close look at the print quality of the bill. The fine lines and details of the portrait on a genuine bill will be clear and unblurred.
Check the Treasury seal on the bill. The seal is green and has distinct saw-toothed edges.
You can also buy an inexpensive pen to check the authenticity of a bill. The ink from the pen changes color when it is marked on a counterfeit bill.
Special UV lights can also be purchased to check bills.
According to the U.S Secret Service Web site, counterfeit money has been a problem since the early days of the republic, especially during the Civil War, when it was estimated that approximately one-third of all the bills in circulation were counterfeit. At that time, each state bank issued its own currency. There were approximately 1,600 banks with around 7,000 different legitimate styles of currency and around 4,000 different kinds of counterfeit bills.
The U.S. adopted a national currency in 1863, hoping it would cut down on the number of counterfeit bills in circulation. It wasn't long before counterfeits of the national currency started showing up. The U.S. Secret Service was created in 1865 to help combat counterfeit national bills.
Today's printer and copier technology has made it even easier to counterfeit bills, and the U.S. Treasury has created new bills with new features to make it harder to create counterfeits.
Anyone with knowledge of people printing or passing counterfeit currency should contact Kingman Police at 753-2191 or report anonymously to Mohave Silent Witness at 753-1234.