Counterfeit money is circulating around the city, according to the Anchorage Police Department
"You know there's probably a lot of people out there walking around with counterfeit money that don't know they have it," said Don Krohn, who had a 30 year career in law enforcement. Krohn now works for First National Bank Alaska as the security manager. He teaches tellers and employees how to spot counterfeit money.
Krohn says many counterfeit bills look very realistic and not everyone knows how to look for the fakes.
He says real bills have ridges created by the way they are printed and you can feel them by scraping a fingernail across the bill. In addition, Krohn says you can check the shading, which should change slightly as you tilt the bill, and look for water marks or compare the size to other notes.
Many counterfeit bills are made with a copy machine and that makes them easier to spot. “When using a copy machine, the colors aren't right... the shifting ink doesn't work and typically the bills are...smaller," said Krohn.
If you do come across a bill that just doesn't look right, you can take it to police. They work closely with the Secret Service on any money counterfeiting cases, because the crime is a federal offense.
"It doesn't hurt to check them once in a while. Especially if they suspect, but there's so many security features in the bill now a day that it's quite easy to check them real quick," said Secret Service Resident Agent Nick Hefner.
Another way to protect yourself is to buy a counterfeit detection pen. They are sold at most office supply stores. One thing to note, the pens don’t work on real money that’s been bleached and reprinted in another denomination. That’s another trick counterfeiters use.
All banks are required to turn over any counterfeit bills they come across. If you somehow end up with fraudulent cash in your wallet there's really no way to be reimbursed.
Contact Mallory Peebles