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Use of Fake Money Reported Across US After Secret Service Seizes $21,800,000 of Counterfeit Cash in One Year

Use of Fake Money Reported Across US After Secret Service Seizes $21,800,000 of Counterfeit Cash in One Year

Reports of people trying to use counterfeit cash are spreading across the US.

Headlines on various attempts to pay with fake money are popping up around the country, with ABC News declaring counterfeiting is “making a comeback.”

Police in Hilo, Hawaii say someone has been bleaching the ink off of $1 bills and printing $100 marks on top, reports the Fox-affiliated news station KHON.

Police captain Rio Amon-Wilkins says authorities are looking at several persons of interest in connection with the crime.

“Because it’s being printed on original US currency notes, the pen still works properly and doesn’t identify it as counterfeit. This is the first time, to my knowledge, we’ve had this type of case where they’re using the original U.S. currency notes.”

The report is one of several on various attempts to use phony money around the US in the last few weeks alone:

• In Brownsville, Texas, a man is accused of manufacturing counterfeit dollar bills and using them to pay for groceries, hotels, gas and food.

• In Boardman, Ohio, police say counterfeit money was used to enter a community baseball stadium in an ongoing investigation.

• In North Carolina, a man has admitted to bleaching $1 bills and trying to print $100 graphics on top.

In addition, police in Germany say they just confiscated piles of fake cash with a face value of $103 million, as reported by the Associated Press.

Investigators believe the bad bills came from Turkey and were being sent to the US for illicit purposes.

“The bills, known as ‘prop copy or ‘movie money,’ could be recognized as fakes when scrutinized closely, but Germany’s central bank and US authorities believe they could be mistaken for real money in everyday life, police said in a statement.”

The US Secret Service says it seized $21.8 million in fake currency last year, triggering 197 arrests. Although the dollar value of its seizures has dropped in recent years, the agency warns counterfeiting techniques are evolving along with advances in technology.

“The threat of counterfeit U.S. currency to the financial system of the United States continues to evolve. Advances in technology, the availability of scanning and printing devices and the adoption of the U.S. dollar by nations as their legal tender have exacerbated the global threat.”

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