The Grand Junction Police Department is warning area residents and businesses to give their money an extra look the next time they exchange cash. In the last month alone we took a dozen reports of counterfeit money being used in our city, and are aware of several other cases being reported to our partner law enforcement agencies in the area. Although most of the counterfeit money is in the form of $10 bills, we have also collected fake $5, $20, and $100 bills.
So far the businesses that have been hit hardest are convenience stores and fast food restaurants, but other stores have been hit as well. This is also a busy time for fundraising activities for local non-profit groups and organizations, and people involved in those activities should pay extra attention to the bills they receive when selling items.
How do you spot a fake? Look for:
- bills that are a slightly different size than other paper money
- paper that does not feel the same as other bills (to thick, too thin, wrong texture)
- bills that do not have security strips in them
- watermarks that are missing (look for the president’s face in a watermark when you hold it up to the light)
- bills that do not have the color-shifting ink on the denomination numbers on the corner
We also encourage businesses to use invisible ink pens to mark on bills to show if they are real or not.
What do you do if you suspect someone is passing fake bills? Be a good witness:
- get a good physical description of the person
- get a good description of the vehicle the person is driving, including a license plate number if possible
- call 911 to report it
- keep the money so you can turn it over to law enforcement
If you have any information about suspects who are intentionally passing fake bills, please call 970-242-6707, or Crime Stoppers at 970-241-STOP (7867).
Test yourself! Can you spot the fakes in the photos below?