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Counterfeit bills going around Nassau County

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NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Sheriff Bill Leeper is warning Nassau County residents, business owners and employees to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency being circulated recently in Nassau County around the Interstate 95 interchange and along the State Road 200 corridor.

Since Aug. 5, the NCSO has received several reports of counterfeit bills in $100 denominations that are being passed as payments to local businesses.

Some of the suspects caught on store video cameras were men last seen driving a GMC Envoy.  Another suspect was described to be a black man with dreadlocks and gold teeth.

If you can identify the individual pictured from store video, please contact the Sheriff's Office at 904-548-4005, or you can remain anonymous by calling First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477.

Nassau deputies are encouraging citizens to closely examine currency by looking carefully at the money they receive.  Citizens should be aware of the security features located on currency and check the serial numbers if multiple bills are received at once.

The three main security features located on bills are:

  • Shifting inks on the dollar amount located on the face side in the bottom right corner.
  • Security threads, which display the denomination of the currency imbedded in the bill.
  • The watermark located on the face of the bill on the right side.


"These bills look very genuine at first glance and will pass the "pen test" vendors often use. This is because the bill is printed on a bleached out $5 bill," Leeper said.

In addition, the Sheriff's Office is offering these tips to detect suspicious or counterfeit currency:

  • The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background, which is often too dark or mottled.
  • On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt or broken saw-tooth points.
  • Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced.  The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal.  On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal.  The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.
  • Deputies are asking that residents and businesses if you locate suspicious currency to please report the incident to police.  


For further information on detecting counterfeit U.S. currency, citizens are encouraged to visit the United States Secret Service website at: http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml.
 
 
Some additional features to look for:

  • Portrait: The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background.  The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat.  Details merge into the background which is often too dark or mottled. 
  • Federal Reserve and Treasury Seals: On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points. 
  • Border: The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct. 
  • Serial Numbers: Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal.  On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned. 
  • Paper: Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper.  It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency. 


"If you discover you have the fake money, turn it over to the Sheriff's Office," Leeper said. "Do not try to pass it along to someone else. It's important because if you know that you have something fake and you pass it off, it's a felony."