Counterfeit $100 Bills Used at NDSU - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Updated: Counterfeit $100 Bills Used at NDSU

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The U.S. Secret Service is investigating 5 counterfeit $100 bills, after someone tried to pay off a student payment with them at North Dakota State University.

Experts at a local coin shop say there's a reason to be concerned. While fake bills are rare, if the phony money made it this far there could be more out there.


Tons of bills pass through the hands of local cashiers every day. Kristina Lou works at Unglued in Downtown Fargo, and deals with a lot of cash. "You don't want to get stuck with something that's counterfeit because if you do it's the retailer’s loss, she says, “Not the banks or anyone else's."


She is concerned after hearing about fake money being used locally. “I usually check for the watermark, and the texture,” Lou says, “And I usually check just making sure it has all the parts that are usually on a bill."


If Lou thinks the bill is suspicious she will run a counterfeit detection pen over the bill. "The pen actually does not work all the time," says Jason Jenkins, an expert at Treasure Island Coins and Precious Metals in Fargo.


Police say the fakes found at NDSU passed the pen test, "good counterfeiters will buy starch free paper,” says Jenkins, “Then the pens are useless." It is part of Jenkins’ job to know everything about money. "If you are someone that handles paper money a lot you just know by the feel of it," says Jenkins.


He suggests getting to know the way money looks and feels, but if you want a sure fire way to tell if it's a counterfeit you might want to invest in a UV light machine.


"There's a UV light machine that will actually show,” says Jenkins, “If you line up all the bills under the machine each note represents a different color in the spectrum, it reacts with the UV light so the hundreds are pink, and one is orange one is blue."


A light machine will run you around $150, and if you are not ready to invest a magnet might come in handy. Money is magnetic, and will respond when you touch a magnet to any real bill.

Whether you work in retail, or just use cash, you might want to get to know your money. The last person with the fake bill takes the loss. "There are so many different fraudulent activities in both cash and credit card side of things you try and protect yourself as much as you can," says Lou.


The secret service is investigating the counterfeit bills found at NDSU. They say if you suspect a bill is fake do not accept it and call police.


More information on spotting fakes: http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml

Original Story:
Police at North Dakota State University say someone passed five counterfeit $100 bills on campus.

Chief Bill Vandal tells Valley News Live the bills were discovered in a bank deposit from the "Bison Connection," which is a spot in the memorial union on campus where students can make bill payments or counseling about financial aid.

Lt. Greg Stone described the bills as "good quality" that passed both visual inspection and counterfeit detecting pens. The NDSU Police Department is now working with the U.S. Secret Service in the investigation.


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