• Last modified 740 days ago (May 7, 2020)


Counterfeit bills range from ordinary to outlandish

Staff writer

Creating counterfeit bills is usually about making the fake money as real as possible, but sometimes the attempts can border on being outlandish, said Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning.

Someone once taped a $20 bill’s number and serial number onto a $1 bill, Kinning said.

“I had seen that before, back in the day when I was with the sheriff’s office,” he said. “I haven’t seen it since, and that one we got a long time ago. That’s probably the craziest one, but it got past. Both of those were caught by the bank.”

Creating fake bills has become easier as high quality copiers have become more common, Kinning said.

“It’s probably been a little more recently than it has in the past,” he said.

Marion County has seen multiple incidents since mid-April, with another possible fake bill used last week in Marion, where Marion police sent the bill to Topeka to check if it was fake.

The previous three incidents occurred April 9 and 10, with two attempts at Sonic Drive-in in Hillsboro, and one at Dollar General in Peabody. Peabody and Hillsboro police believed the three cases involved the same person.

However, the duplication process is also becoming more intricate as water marks found on current bills have been added to counteract forgery.

While fake bills are used sometimes purposefully, the ones using them are often unaware, Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said.

“Most of the ones we get, I think people genuinely don’t know,” he said. “They’re not making them.”

Spotting a fake bill often requires side-by-side comparison since there are usually small tells, such as bills that are smaller by fractions of an inch, incorrect coloring, or a slightly different texture, Kinning said.

Last modified May 7, 2020