Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Counterfeit Bills Passed At Fireworks Stands

The Elk Grove Police Department has recently documented two cases where counterfeit $50 bills were used to purchase fireworks at two firework stands in Elk Grove. These firework stands are usually operated by non-profit groups that are raising funds in an effort to provide financial support for youth based organizations. In many situations, these counterfeit bills look real and feel real. Organizations operating firework stands are encouraged to advise their workers of the following tips:

Be suspicious; take time to look at and feel the money you receive.

Check for obvious things like duplicate serial numbers.

Be especially suspicious of older bills (those bearing old pre-1996 designs) and bills of larger denominations.

Simply refuse to accept older bills. Nearly all the pre-1996 money that is actually legitimate has been taken out of circulation and destroyed already.

Look at bills in the light. The color-shift ink is very hard to fake. The security stripe and watermark are impossible to duplicate with an inkjet printer.

Borders and markings should have clean crisp lines and come to sharp points.

If you believe you are receiving a counterfeit bill, call the police.

Additional information on how to detect counterfeit money is available on the United States Secret Service web site at Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Communications Center at (916) 714-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357). Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Tips can also be sent via SMS text message by entering CRIMES (274637) on a cell phone, followed by Tip732 (agency identification number) and the message.

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