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tables cover in examples of counterfeit money

Hilliard Police Warn Public About Counterfeit Money

Posted February 7, 2019 in Police by Anna Subler

Hilliard Division of Police recently participated in a joint investigation that led to the arrest of five alleged currency counterfeiters.

In recent months, the Hilliard Division of Police has seen a rise in counterfeit money cases aimed at defrauding local businesses and individuals.

Counterfeit bills of all types are being passed: 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 50s and even 100s. Many of these bills are coming from cash-related transactions, such as OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace, and some counterfeit bills are being passed at gas stations and retail stores.

A group in Columbus is facing federal charges for its role in a sophisticated counterfeit currency manufacturing scheme, following an investigation by HPD and the Secret Service Southern District of Ohio Electronic and Financial Crimes Task Force. The investigation began in October when HPD received several tips about locals passing counterfeit money.

Five individuals were charged after HPD executed a search warrant at a Columbus residence.

About $3,400 in counterfeit currency, in various denominations, as well as electronic media, paper, ink and other items used in the production of counterfeit U.S. currency were seized during the search of the home in November.

The group allegedly began by passing counterfeit currency at local fast food restaurants in Central Ohio. After a period of time, they branched out and began passing counterfeit money at larger box stores and expanded to other cities in Ohio and Indiana.

Residents can protect themselves by doing the following:

  • Check the size of the bill. Is it too small or too large?
  • Look for strange markings. Many of the bills in Hilliard have had Chinese writing on them. The coloring is also a little off.
  • Make sure your bills do not have the same serial number on them.
  • Feel the bill. Counterfeit bills might have a strange texture or feel too thin or too thick.
  • Use the marker test and check for the watermark. Some counterfeit bills will even pass the marker test, so be sure to check for a watermark that lines up, too. Hold the bill up to the light to ensure it has a watermark and a vertical security thread. More information here.

If you think you have a counterfeit bill, don’t use it. Turn it in to your bank. If you live in Hilliard, you can turn it in at the police station.

To learn more about the security features of genuine U.S. currency and how to identify counterfeit currency, visit uscurrency.gov.