Dubuque Police alert public about increase in counterfeit money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Police alert public about increase in counterfeit money

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The Dubuque Police Department is reminding you to double check your cash.

"We seen a dramatic increase in the amount of counterfeit money circulating through the community, the Dubuque area," said Lt.Scott Baxter.

The department said people should remain vigilant because this year alone there have been 90 cases of "funny money" totaling nearly $9,000. That's up slightly from last year.

Police say it's happening everywhere -- at various businesses, even personal transactions through social media. "Like through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, social media based transactions."

The forgers are getting creative. "Most of what we're seeing is bills that have been bleached, or washed as it's commonly referred to, so the bill remains on legitimate paper, but then they print a higher denomination in the paper, so they can take a one dollar bill, a five, bleach it out, wash it out, and then print a 20, 50, or a 100 on it," added Lt. Baxter.

In one recent case, police said  a woman approached a man on the street in downtown Dubuque. She asked him to break a twenty, because she needed to feed a parking meter, but it wasn't real. 

This is why police  are asking you to take your time when conducting transactions. Look for certain security features -- like the money strip. Feel for raised printing  on the bill. Real money feels a bit rough to touch.

Other security features authorities say you should look out for are color-shifting ink. 

For more information on how to spot fake bills, visit: https://www.uscurrency.gov/seven-denominations

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