Michigan State Police are investigating a counterfeit scam on campus.
A man has gone to four on-campus buildings and received change for a fake $20 bill. He attempted it a fifth time, but failed.
The cases happened Monday and Tuesday. Police don't know if there's more than one person involved.
Students said they're on-guard, but added it's hard to tell.
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Counterfeit Bill Spotting Tips
- Check a suspected counterfeit bill against a bill you know to be real.
- The portrait on each bill has been enlarged and moved slightly off center to the left to allow for a watermark.
- There are red and blue fibers embedded in the paper that can be seen on either side of the bill.
- The surface of the bill has an embossed, or raised, feel.
- On old and new bills, the paper has the same distinctive feel. Genuine currency is strong and pliable with a unique texture.
- All redesigned bills, except the $5, have a color-shifting ink feature. The number in the lower right corner of the front of the bill looks green when viewed straight on, but black when viewed at an angle.
- A watermark of the portrait image is visible on both sides in the same area when held up to bright light. The watermark will be located on the right edge on the front of the bill and on the left side on the back of the bill. Watermarks are made during the paper-making process and are hard to replicate.
- The security thread appears in a different location on each denomination to help confirm the note’s value. For example, on the $10 bill, the thread is to the right of the portrait and glows orange when viewed under ultraviolet light. You will notice the words “USA TEN” and a flag can be seen from both sides when viewed against light.
- The redesigned bills feature microprinted words in two areas on the front of the bill. Different words appear in different locations on each denomination. For example, on the $10 bill, the word “TEN” is inside the numeral on the lower left corner on the note’s front. “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is repeated just above Hamilton’s name under the portrait.
- The redesigned bills have fine line printing patterns that are difficult to replicate. The fine lines are printed behind the portrait on the front and behind the building on the back. The lines are very clean and parallel to each other. If they are copies, the lines become splotchy or create new patterns.
If Someone Passes You a Bill You Suspect Is Counterfeit
The U.S. Secret Service Recommends:
- Avoid returning the bad bill to the passer.
- Delay the passer, if possible, without risking harm to yourself or others.
- Record the passer’s appearance, as well as those of any companions.
- If possible, write down the license plate number and make of their vehicle.
- Contact your local police department of the U.S. Secret Service.
- Write your initials and date on an unprinted portions of the bill. Place it in a clean envelope.
- Give the note only to a properly identified police officer or a representative of the U.S. Secret Service.
Source: http://www.bep.treas.gov/cd042500/fun_index.html (The Bureau of Engraving and Printing)