Counterfeiting

When taking cash, take time to inspect the bill to make sure it is not counterfeit, Abilene Assistant Police Chief Jason Wilkins advises.

Using a detection pen alone may not detect a counterfeit bill, he said.

“In the past, a common way individuals would counterfeit currency was to ‘wash’ a low denomination bill and reprint it as a higher denomination bill,” Wilkins said. “This allowed counterfeit bills to avoid detection from businesses utilizing counterfeit detection pens.”

Recently an Abilene man was arrested for passing counterfeit currency. A fake $50 bill was found at a restaurant and an attempt was made to pass $150 in counterfeit currency at a convenience store.

The Abilene Police Department recovered an additional $1,800 in counterfeit currency.

Wilkins also said that, more recently, there has been an increase in counterfeit cases where individuals are passing film prop money and money that contains Chinese writing on the note.

“The easiest way to spot film prop money is to look for the phrase ‘Only Motion Picture Purposes’ on the front and back of the bill,” he said. 

Restaurants and convenient stores are targets of individuals looking to utilize counterfeit money likely due to the large volume of customers.

“Oftentimes, a business is unaware that they’ve received a counterfeit bill until they attempt to deposit the money into the bank,” Wilkins said. “Individuals utilizing websites like Marketplace and Craigslist can also be susceptible to receiving counterfeit money.”

The easiest way to avoid becoming the victim of counterfeiting is to take time to visually and physically inspect the bill, he said.

There are several resources available online that can assist with identifying a counterfeit bill. If local citizens suspect they may have received a counterfeit bill, we encourage them to contact the Abilene Police Department.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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