Oklahomans Urged To Look Out For Fake Cash During Holidays

Monday, December 5th 2011, 10:49 pm
By: News 9

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and that means more cash and counterfeit bills are switching hands.

With the greater likelihood of getting scammed, News 9 is watching out for you with what to know to prevent being cheated.

Adrian Andrews, U.S. Secret Service special agent in charge of Oklahoma, has a large stack of cash on his desk at the Oklahoma City field office. It looks real, but it's not. Andrews is currently following that paper trail, looking for leads on each bill.

"Oklahoma City does have a lot of counterfeiting, we do about $5,000.00 a week in receiving counterfeit notes," Andrews said.

Some merchants report more of the fake Jackson's and Benjamin's rolling through just before Christmas. But, the Secret Service says, overall, the illegal loot stays fairly constant. So, what can you look out for?

Andrews says there are up to 30 different security features that can help give away fake money. Three of them are easy to spot on the real thing.

Those three easy-to-spot security features include:

*A vertical strip that reads, "USA 20, USA 20"

*Ink that changes colors when the note moves

*Second presidential portrait only visible through light

If it's a $20 bill and you see Lincoln, you actually have a washed $5 bill.

With less and less cash changing hands, the Secret Service says its new big issue is cyber crime as criminals find new ways to download credit card numbers. If you have concern about some of your cash any local bank can let you know if it's real.

The Secret Service says the most common places that receive counterfeit money are cash-only businesses and garage sales.