Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The watermark of president Benjamin Franklin can be found to the right of the real $100 bill seen above if its shown under florescent lighting, like in a retail store.
May 16th, 2016…Marco Island Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man they say is suspected of passing bogus $100 bills in four salons and one ice cream shop. Police said the same man used counterfeit $100 bills in the Salon and Spa Botanica, Rick’s Island Salon and Day Spa, Sasha’s Salon, Jump Hair and Nails, and Dolce Mare-Chocolate and Confection Shop at the Marco Walk. Investigator Joe Mack of the Marco police described the person of interest as a clean cut, middle-aged male of possible Hispanic background who was well dressed with nicely pressed dressed pants and a shirt not tucked in.
“The subject came into all the establishments and purchased some small items and paid with the bogus bills,” said Mack. “The hologram of Franklin’s face is missing amongst a number of other items which should cause someone to be suspicious, however he was very well spoken and engaged with the clerks in casual conversation. “We estimate he spent about an hour to hit all five establishments,” said Mack. The Marco department immediately contacted the Treasury Department and conferred with members of the Secret Service in Miami to discuss the incident and a packet of information and the bogus bills will be eventually turned over to them, police said.
May 11th, 2016 SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Top $100 bill is fake bottom $100 bill is good. Sarasota police want people to be on the lookout for fake money that’s making the rounds. Over the past few months, police have seen a trend of people passing off fake currency. Since January, police say there have been five separate cases of suspects using counterfeit $100 bills. In each case, police say the suspects were attempting to buy motorcycles advertised on Craigslist and other sites. The bills appear real, and the suspects got away with it. While, at first glance, the bills do appear to be the real thing, there are a few key differences. For one, Benjamin Franklin’s eyebrow is raised, like John Belushi in ‘Animal House’.
Also, instead of “United States of America,” the fake money reads “For Motion Pictures Use Only.” The top of the bill also says “One Hundred” instead of “One Hundred Dollars.” In addition, on the back of the counterfeit bills, the dome of Independence Hall is missing. It’s important to know $100 bills are specially designed to thwart counterfeiters. When held up to a light, you can see a watermark of Benjamin Franklin’s face. Also, there’s a Liberty Bell on the bottom right of the dollar bill that changes colors when you move it around. In addition, the print is raised on Benjamin Franklin’s jacket, so you can feel a distinct texture.
Counterfeit money has been around for nearly as long as the real deal. When the first coins were minted several thousand years ago, the value of the coin was based on the intrinsic value of the metal. Counterfeiters would scrape off small amounts of precious metal from legitimate coins and use it to cover a cheap base metal and pass it off as a higher value coin. Since then, counterfeit money has evolved into a huge black market, with an estimate of over $200 million circulating the U.S. at any time. TWENTIES AND HUNDREDS ARE THE MOST COUNTERFEITED AMERICAN BILLS. According to a 2013 Reuters report, $20 bills are the most common counterfeited bills in the United States, but internationally, it’s all about the Benjamins due to the bill’s broad circulation. To fight counterfeiting, U.S. bills are designed with a number of security features to verify their authenticity: Watermarks that can be seen when the bill is held up to the light; security threads that can be seen when held up to an ultraviolet light (on counterfeits, they appear as a thin line); color-shifting ink; raised printing; and more. A redesigned version of the $100 bill, which took a decade to create and was released the same year as the Reuters report, featured two security features new to that bill: a 3D security ribbon with images of bells and 100s on it, and a color-changing bell in an inkwell.
TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING COUNTERFEITERS MAKE MORE BELIEVABLE FAKE BILLS. It’s tempting to think that fake bills are no longer an issue thanks to advances in security features and detection technology, but it’s actually the other way around: Now, with the ability to buy inkjet printers for cheap, more people are making counterfeits than they were years ago. All it takes to set up a counterfeiting operation is a few hundred bucks. In 2014, Bloomberg News reported on Tarshema Brice, a Richmond, Virginia-based hairstylist and janitor who produced between $10,000 and $20,000 in fake bills over the course of two years. Her scheme was simple: Brice took $5 bills and soaked them in a degreaser, then scrubbed off the ink with a toothbrush and let them dry. Next, she used a Hewlett-Packer ink jet printer to print images she’d scanned of $50 and $100 notes onto the blank bills. She was caught in 2013 and pleaded guilty to counterfeiting in May 2014. But Brice’s operation was chump change compared to Albert Talton’s. According to WIRED, the Lawndale, California resident was responsible for putting more than $7 million in fake bills into circulation between 2004 and 2008. He pulled it off, in part, using ink jet and laser printers he bought at his local Staples store. He also used a variety of clever tricks: First Talton took two sheets of newspaper, which he discovered passed the counterfeit pen test, and printed imitation watermarks and security strips on the inside of one piece. Next, he glued another sheet of newspaper to the watermarked sheet. Then, he would print images of bills onto the front and back of the sheets; finally, he cut the notes of his funny money to size. Talton’s bills circulated nationwide and in nine countries overseas; the counterfeiter was sentenced to more than nine years in prison in 2009.
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