7 On Your Side
Spotting counterfeit money
NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you think all money you get from your bank is real, think again. The U.S. Secret Service that investigates counterfeiting says it's not unheard of that your own bank could pass you a fake bill. So how do catch a counterfeit bill?
It's hard to tell which bill is genuine and which is the clever counterfeit sometimes
"I was mortified. I was like what are you talking about?" said Arlyne Lorenz, a bank customer.
Arlyne Lorenz says her own bank gave her three counterfeit bills.
"I thought that was completely unacceptable and I was not going to be out three hundred dollars," Lorenz said.
The grandmother and long time realtor was simply loaning money to a family member. She withdrew a few hundred from her bank and a half hour later deposited it in her step daughter's bank.
It's there that a counterfeit detector found three of the hundreds were fakes. But when she went back to her bank for a refund they refused to help.
"There was nothing they could do for me. End of story," Lorenz said.
"The quality is probably one of the better counterfeits that we see here on Long Island," said Mike Seremetis, U.S. Secret Service.
All three of Arlyne's counterfeit hundreds came to Mike Seremetis's office at the Secret Service. Her confiscated counterfeit is the centerpiece of an active investigation.
"We have seen many bills like that in this area and we are pursuing those leads aggressively," Seremetis said.
The agent says each week in our area the Secret Service turn up thousands in these types of bogus bills.
The best way to spot a fake is to hold it up to the light and check out the watermark of Ben Franklin.
Also feel the bill's print. Counterfeits' printing is raised higher.
"I would just ask the teller, please run the bills through your counterfeit detection machine," Seremetis said.
As for Arlyne, 7 On Your Side appealed to her bank.
"Thanks to Eyewitness News I got my money," Lorenz said.
Standard practice with most banks is once you leave the bank, there is no way to prove they gave you a counterfeit.
That's why you should always ask the bank to pass money through the detection machine.
For more information please visit: http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml
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