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How to spot fake bills as counterfeit possibly passed in Western Washington


Western Washington authorities are warning people to be on the lookout for fake bills.

The Centralia Police Department announced Wednesday that it is investigating counterfeit $100 bills that have been passed at several businesses in the area.

These bills all have what appear to be foreign symbols printed on them in red or pink ink. Although the department has only received reports of $100 bills being passed, it is our understanding that there may be other denominations circulating.

Nearly a month ago in October, authorities in the North Sound that counterfeiters were passing fake $20 and $100 bills.

>> Related: Secret Service warns: Watch for fake $20 and $100 bills

The Seattle Secret Service office gets about $1 million in counterfeit bills every year.

If you’re suspicious of a bill, hold it up to the light and look for:

  • A security thread on the left side.

  • You should a watermark: a ghostly image of the bill’s portrait on the right side

  • Color -shifting ink: Tilt the note to see the numeral 20 or 100 in the lower right corner of the note shift from copper to green.

It is important to know what the security features are in genuine currency, because if you end up with a counterfeit note, you will lose that money

Click here to learn more security features of U.S. currency bills.

Secret Service Special Agent Robert Kierstead told KIRO 7 the majority of the fake bills the agency receives locally are twenties. Overseas, the hundred-dollar bill is the most circulated counterfeit.

Anyone who suspects counterfeit money should call police.

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