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Reports of fake money reported; Learn how to spot counterfeit bills

Counterfeit bills have been spotted around eastern Idaho recently. Whether you handle cash for business or personal use, it’s good to know some warning signs about the bills you are carrying.

Just this past Tuesday, a man was sentenced for printing and passing fake $50 bills in Coeur d’Alene. Now, it’s hit closer to home. Rexburg police verified a fake bill was at a local bank yesterday, and there has been talk about counterfeit bills floating around Pocatello.

“We see it kind of come and go, and not disproportionately compared to anywhere else. Not particularly high. But we do have occasionally — we’ll get several and then we realized we’ve got a problem. Then, we’ll see what the pattern is,” said Idaho Falls Police Department Detective Howard Schwicht.

Creating and knowingly passing counterfeit bills is a federal crime, so be careful. It is common for people to pass them along unknowingly.

“Some of the fakes look very genuine. So, don’t try to run away from it. Just stay, explain. We have not, to my knowledge ever charged somebody who has inadvertently passed a fake bill,” said Schwicht.

A couple of quick tips: “First, feel the for the texture,” said Schwicht.

The writing is slightly raised and can be felt by hand.

“It’ll feel much different than a piece of paper that has been copied,” followed Schwicht.

Tilt the bill up and down. On the twenty, the eagle symbol and colored twenty will change from copper to green. Then, of course, check for the watermarks by light.

For more information on United States currency and to find more tips, visit

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