Fake bills prompt warning

With two recent reports of businesses accepting counterfeit money, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office is advising residents to be on the lookout for bogus bills.

"Counterfeit money must be seized and forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service," said Sgt. Tom Mezzetta. "There are no restitution requirements for those who lose counterfeit money to seizure."

A Wal-Mart cashier accepted a counterfeit $50 on March 4 that appeared to have been made from a $5 bill.

Mezzetta said the bill was of poor quality.

"The built-in security features were flawed in that the watermark image on the bill that should have reflected a portrait of President Grant instead depicted a portrait of President Lincoln," Mezzetta said.

The security stripe in the paper on the left side of the bill read "Five," Mezzetta said.

"It appeared that an actual $5 bill had been 'washed' and a new printing on the paper was done to turn the bill into a $50 bill," he said.

A blackjack dealer at Carson Valley Inn accepted a counterfeit $20 bill on March 7.

Mezzetta directed residents to the Secret Service Web site to learn about currency and how to detect counterfeit bills.

"Protect yourself from being victimized by counterfeit currency by taking a moment to inspect the paper currency before accepting it as real," Mezzetta said.


U.S. Secret Service Web site



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