Categorized | National News

Businesspersons Taught To Spot Funny Money

Two United States Secret Service special agents were in the country recently to equip local business owners with more skills on how to better spot fake U.S. currency.

During the Institute of Internal Auditors’ one-day seminar earlier this week, special agents Justin Fielder and Eddie Fernandez Calienes gave attendees a crash course in detecting counterfeit money. They noted that fraudsters are becoming increasingly better at their craft.

“American dollars are a big part of the economy,” he said. “It’s not just like it hurts us, because in places like The Bahamas, where the economy depends on tourism, it hurts you as well.”

“When you try to claim your money and you hear it’s no good, you don’t get that back. The banks and other institutions keep it.”

With The Bahamas being a mega tourist destination, the country sees an influx of U.S. currency on a daily basis.

The Secret Service official said countries such as The Bahamas should do all they can to protect local businesses from fraud.

Special Agent Calienes said in countries like Peru and Columbia fraudsters have even set up companies dedicated to the “long, expensive and painstaking process” of creating counterfeit money.

He said the United States Government has deployed a number of foreign officers in various countries where they money making machines and engravers are located.

According to Special Agent Fielder there are four main types of counterfeit money; offset, digital, raised notes and bleached notes – all created using either toners or ink jet printers.

While it might be difficult to sometimes identify counterfeit money with the naked eye, the special agents said observing the attitude and posture of the customer might be a good telltale sign that he or she is trying to buy goods with fake money.

“If I’m paying with counterfeit money, why would it matter if I pull the money out of my left pocket as opposed to my right pocket,” he asked. “That’s because people who use fake money never mix the real with the fake.

“So in one pocket they would have all the real money and in the next all the real money. So when they come to your store and want to purchase a pack of gum they will pull the fake money from that one pocket and when you give them the real money change they put in the other pocket with the other real money.”

Special Agent Calienes added that if you suspect you are being paid with fake money there are certain steps to immediately follow.

“If you have a note and you think it’s counterfeit you should not return it to the person who gave it to you,” he added. “Delay them if possible and if they are passing counterfeit you need as much time to call the police. Also remember to get as much details about them as possible.”

The Secret Service agents said while commonly used, they do not endorse the use of iodine pens to detect fake money as fraudsters are even using real notes and just changing the denomination to a higher amount.

They suggest using black lights instead.

The special agents said the best way to detect counterfeit is to compare it to the real deal.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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