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Funny money in Hayward

cfitPolice arrested a man they suspect was bringing up to $10,000 a week in fake currency to the Bay Area, including Hayward, and selling it to people willing to take the risk of passing along the faux dough. Investigators were buying it for a quarter of face value. They don’t know how long this operation had been going on.

The good news: Those bills aren’t too hard to spot. This isn’t one of those sophisticated operations you see in the movies, with painstakingly engraved plates and a press and whatnot. Police believe it was done with a computer, scanner and printer, and as they said in the story, any kind of scrutiny will reveal a fake. Here’s a list of security features currently used on bills. Here’s a neat interactive feature on the latest such features, used on new larger denomination notes. And here’s what the Secret Service says to do if you suspect you’ve been given a counterfeit note.

The bad news: There’s no reimbursement or reward for turning in a bad bill. As the Secret Service info states, “There is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, but it is doing the ‘right thing’ to help combat counterfeiting.”

Eric Kurhi

  • Michael Moore

    Eric, I was pleased that you added the government’s policy on counterfeit bills. That policy is why savvy citizens and business people do not report counterfeit activity after they become aware of it. It is a classic Federal Catch 22. If you turn in the funny money you get an attaboy and loose the equivalent legal tender exchanged for it. Exactly the kind of reform that should be taken some day by people in a position to care.