Iowa authorities warn of counterfeit bills - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa authorities warn of counterfeit bills

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- Cashiers handling money need to be extra vigilant this holiday season.

"They've got so many people coming through, and I understand the clerks and cashiers are in a rush to get all the customers through,'' said Sgt. Cristy Hamblin with the Cedar Rapids police.  "We're asking the clerks when they're taking in the money to take a look at the bill."

This year's counterfeit dollars are going undetected.

Authorities have already reported fake bills in Iowa, Linn, and Powesheik counties.

Many times, the banks catch it when it's too late.

"If the store takes it, and they in turn take it to the bank to deposit it, the bank catches, it, the grocery store is going to be out that 100 dollar bill," Hamblin said. 

The counterfeits are initially going unnoticed because they're making it through some of the conventional detection methods, like the pen test.

"Our money counters, machines should be able to detect counterfeit bills, these are passing the test," said Guaranty Bank President Chris Lindell.

Some of the bills are real, but the denominations have been changed to larger amounts.

Lindell says people can verify if the bill is authentic in just a couple of seconds.

''Hold it up to the light, you can see the watermark.  Turn it over and you should be able to see the same watermark.''

Lindell also recommends checking the colored number in the bottom right hand corner.  If it changes color as the bill is rotated, it's authentic.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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