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Businesses Beware: Counterfeit Bills Turn Up on St. John

March 17, 2005 – Two $20 counterfeit bills turned up this week on St. John.
"It happens periodically," Police Department spokesman Sgt. Thomas Hannah said Thursday.
One of the $20s was discovered in the deposit bag for Ronnie's Pizzeria/Rolling Pin Bakery. "It's looked pretty damn close," said Ronnie Klingsberg, who owns both etablishments.
After FirstBank told him the bill was counterfeit, the St. John business owner said he took a closer look. The counterfeit bill's paper was not smooth, Thomas Jefferson's face was green all the way across instead of white, it was missing the watermark on the bill's right-hand side and it had no security strip, he said.
"When you looked close, it looks like graph paper," Klingsberg said. He said the bill is marked 2004 series.
Klingsberg said he's heard that counterfeit $5 and $10 bills are also circulating. Additionally, he said he understands that the markers supposed to detect counterfeit bills don't work on these bills.
Nobody from FirstBank's St. John branch returned a telephone call requesting information.
Hannah provided a list of tips to help people from accepting counterfeit bills.
– Look at the watermark. This is a faint image similar to the portrait on the bill. It is part of the paper itself and visible from both sides when held up to the light.
– Look for a security thread. This thread is visible from both sides when the bill is held up to the light. It is a vertical strip of plastic embedded in the paper that spells out the denomination in tiny print.
– Ink used for the numeral in the lower right corner of the note's face changes color when the bill is tilted. It alternates between copper to green, making it easier for people to check their money.

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