Several Panhandle law enforcement agencies are chasing a string of counterfeit bills that have surfaced in Chipley and DeFuniak Springs. Authorities say most of the bills are 20s and 100s being passed at gas stations and fast food restaurants. And they’re becoming more difficult to spot.
At first glance, it may be hard to tell which $100 bill is real and which is not.
"Both the counterfeit and the good money both have fibers in it," said Lt. Dennis Speight, Chipley Police Department.
This is the latest counterfeit bill Chipley Police have turned up in recent weeks.
"You may come across them once a week or monthly, just depends on if someone's actually making the bills in this area and passing them," said Speight.
This counterfeit 100 was used at the Burger King near Interstate-10. The customer didn’t realize it was fake.
The local Habitat for Humanity store also received a counterfeit 100.
"The biggest thing we saw in the past were mostly 20s," said Speight.
DeFuniak Springs Police say they’ve also seen a number of counterfeit 20s with the same serial numbers.
"They're a lot easier to pass and they are a bigger bill because most times, you can pass those at a fast food places and people don't think about it," said Speight.
Authorities can sometimes use the serial number to track its origin. Other clues for detecting counterfeit bills include the quality of paper and the seal.
"Maybe the lines don't match up properly on the money, some of the ink has run (off)," said Speight.
Some stores use a counterfeit detecting pen, but Speight says it’s getting trickier.
"They've changed the features of the money where it's harder for the counterfeit people to make copies of it, you can mark the bill and then it shows that it is counterfeit but if it was made back in the 50s and 60s, it may show that it's counterfeit and in fact it's not."
If you’re unsure about any bill you receive, experts recommend you contact your local bank or law enforcement agency.