ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Secret Service agents in St. Louis are bracing for an increase in counterfeit cash. It happens almost every holiday season. Secret Service Agent Mark Fruin said crooks like when malls are busy, “taking advantage of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.”
Even though the government keeps adding security features to bills the crooks keep making copies. Fruin said, “We are starting very, very recently to see the new one hundred being counterfeited.” The new $100 has only been out for about a month. It only takes a hoe computer and printer to break the law.
The owner of Christopher’s in Kirkwood said bank tellers alerted him recently to be on the lookout. Thau said, “They said you really need to be aware there’s a lot of counterfeiting going on especially the low bills.”
Two $20 bills were passed at McArthur’s bakery in south St. Louis county. That may not sound like the crime of the century but when you’re a mom and pop operation it hurts. Bakery owner Randy McArthur said, “It’s particularly frustrating because in good years we work on a two to four percent margin so if we get stuck with a $20 bill were going to have to do $500 to $800 worth of sales if it were just plain profit.” He’s purchased new special pens that spot built in security features on each bill.
Fruin added, “The best thing for somebody working with money is to slow down take a few extra seconds not a few minutes just a few seconds and hold the note up to the light and look for a couple security features if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t real.”
If you want to know more about how to spot counterfeit money go www.newmoney.gov