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Keep an eye out for counterfeit money: Seymour Police see rise in 'bleached' bills

Criminals are taking $5 and $10 bills and turning them into $100 bills by bleaching the numbers off and re-printing them.

SEYMOUR, Ind. — Seymour Police said they’ve seen an increase in counterfeit bills in the area, and they are providing tips on how to keep you and your business safe from the scam. On Feb. 7, the Seymour Police Department posted a warning on Facebook about the fake bills.

The bills have been counterfeited by a process called “bleaching,” according to the department. The process involves putting lower-value bills, like $5 or $10, into a bleaching solution until the writing comes off. Then, new numbers, like $100, are put on the blank bills using a laser printer.

Criminals usually won't use the bills for high-ticket items, according to police. Instead, counterfeiters will use the higher-value bills for an inexpensive purchase (like at a drive-thru), so they can get valid change. Seymour Police also said they sometimes use fake bills to “rip off their drug dealer.”

Authorities see rise in 'bleached bills' in Seymour

If you want to make sure you don’t get scammed, the department gave the following suggestions in their Facebook post:

  • Check for the security strip on high-value bills, and make sure it matches
  • Check the watermark – it should match the face on the bill
  • Check for off-centered or fuzzy print
  • Check to see if the microprinting is legible
  • Wet the bill and see if the ink runs off
  • Check the serial numbers – they shouldn’t match other bills
  • Scrutinize older-style bills more closely. Older bills are easier to fake
  • Know that in this kind of scam, dollar bill markers will work, since it’s still the correct paper
Credit: Seymour Police Department

Seymour Police said any business has the right to refuse cash that looks unusual or "sketchy."

“Offending someone is usually better than being a victim,” the department said. 

If you suspect counterfeit cash, you should call Seymour Police at (812) 522-1234.

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