(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – Fake money is nearly as old as money itself, with many famous counterfeiters trying to make it rich from all across the world. However, counterfeit bills have been hitting close to home, with over $700 in fraudulent bills being located in Warrensburg.
Since January, 34 counterfeit bills in varying denominations have been found at various locations throughout Warrensburg.
Counterfeit bills have been discovered at multiple local businesses. The largest amounts were recovered at Home Rentals on Feb. 2 with $200, and Central Bank of Warrensburg on March 12 with $170. Individuals have also discovered counterfeit bills dropped at various locations.
Rich Lockhart, chief of the Warrensburg Police Department, said that they are currently working with the United States Secret Service to investigate the trend, according to Warrensburg police chief Rich Lockhart. The Secret Service was unable to comment on the case progress.
No progress has currently been made on solving the case, other than possibilities of obtaining video surveillance.
Lockhart also said that the trend hasn’t been the only counterfeit money use in the area.
“It comes and goes in waves,” said Lockhart.
Lockhart said that one former trend of counterfeit money made use of Monson Money – or movie money, which are special bills printed to imitate the look of real bills but are printed for movie prop use only.
Another former trend consisted of fake bills spread around Warrensburg and Sedalia, which was traced back to a group in Kansas City who printed the bills on a home inkjet printer.
While counterfeit bills are currently rampant in the area, there are many easy methods to determine the authenticity of a bill.
The most common and easiest sign is a hidden strip which bills $5 and above contain. The location of the vertical strip varies in different denominations, and can typically only be spotted if the bill is held in front of a light source. Under a blacklight, this strip glows different colors depending on denomination.
Lesser common signs include color-changing ink found on $20 and above bills, other hidden watermarks, and the print quality.
For uncertainties, consumers are advised to visit their local bank or police department to get a second opinion on whether the bill is authentic or a fake. Beverly McKenna, branch manager for Central Bank of Warrensburg, said all tellers are trained on determining the authenticity of bills.
For more information on determining the authenticity of bills, visit the U.S. Currency Education Program website at www.uscurrency.gov.