From Kim Minugh:
Elk Grove police are warning firework stand operators to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills.
Police are aware of two cases in which people used counterfeit $50 bills to buy fireworks at two local stands, according to a department news release.
The crime is compounded by the target. Firework stands often are operated by non-profit groups trying to raise money for youth-based organizations, the release states.
Police offer these tips for preventing the passage of counterfeit bills:
- Be suspicious: Take time to look at and feel the money you receive.
- Check for obvious things like duplicate serial numbers.
- Be especially suspicious of older bills (those bearing pre-1996 designs) - or simply refuse them - and bills of larger denominations. Nearly all legitimate pre-1996 bills have been taken out of circulation and destroyed.
- Look at the bills in the light. The color-shift ink is very hard to fake. The security stripe and watermark are impossible to duplicate with an inkjet printer.
- Borders and markings should have clean, crisp lines and come to sharp points.
- If you believe you are receiving a counterfeit bill, call the police.
For more information about detecting counterfeit money, visit the U.S. Secret Service Web site at www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.
Anyone with information regarding the passage of counterfeit bills is asked to call Elk Grove police at (916) 714-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.