Alert: See if Your Cash is Counterfeit

Oct. 30, 2008 — Reports of counterfeit money getting passed in the territory have led police to issue an advisory to the public.
"We have received several reports of stores on St. Thomas receiving counterfeit money from unsuspecting customers, and I am asking the public to inspect their bills to make sure they are legitimate," Police Commissioner James H. McCall said Thursday.
The commissioner listed some ways for people to inspect their bills, according to a news release from the V.I. Police Department:
— The color on the number on the lower right hand side of the bill is made with color-shifting ink. If the color does not shift, the bill is not authentic;
— When you hold the bill up to the light you can see the face on the bill repeated as a watermark in the unprinted space on the right side of the portrait. The watermark can be seen from both sides of the bill;
— You can also see the security thread when holding the bill up to the light. The security thread is a thin embedded strip running from top to bottom on the face of the bill. In $10 and $50 bills, the strip is located on the right of the portrait, while in the $5, $20, and $100 bills it's just to the left of the portrait;
— If a bill is held up to an ultraviolet light, each denomination glows a different color: A $5 bill glows blue, a $10 glows orange, a $20 glows green, a $50 glows yellow and a $100 glows red — if they are the real thing; and
— Finally, you can compare the feel and texture of the paper with other bills which you know are authentic. Real bills feel like fabric; counterfeit bills feel more like paper.
"If you discover that a bill in your possession is counterfeit, turn it over to the police," McCall said. "It's a felony to knowingly pass a counterfeit bill you received to someone else."
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