An investigation into a series of “good quality” $100 bills passed in several local businesses is ongoing, though police urge residents to keep a sharp eye out for any more.
Police Detective Sgt. Eric Dearcorn advised the fraudulent bills are not being noticed quickly, or frequently, enough. They are generally not discovered until later in the day when the business is counting money or when the money is turned over to banks.
The Gillette Police Department has yet to identify any suspects in the case.
“We have no idea where they come from, we have no commonality between businesses,” Dearcorn said.
Police are currently investigating seven counterfeit $100 bills, which are unlike any other counterfeit bills seized in recent months. The counterfeit $100 bills are “fairly good quality,” Dearcorn said.
“We’ve seen some counterfeit 50s and 20s, but it seems like the 100’s have just shown up here in the last couple of weeks,” he continued.
He advises residents and businesses alike to closely inspect any $100 bills they may receive.
Look for the watermark, Dearcorn continued. The watermark, almost invisible unless the bill is held up to the light, can distinguish a real $100 bill from a fake.
Residents should check to make sure their $100 bills are printed on the correct kind of paper.
“The biggest one we’re seeing is it’s the wrong kind of paper,” said Dearcorn. “It’s a thicker kind of paper, but it’s not the paper that’s used for currency.”
According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, all U.S. currency is printed on a paper comprised of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen.
Unlike other currency, the $100 bill features a few extra security measures, as well. All $100 bills printed after 2013 have a 6mm wide, 3-D security ribbon woven directly into the paper. The security ribbon is never printed onto the bill.
The ribbon has several holographic 100s and bells that move from side to side if the bill is tilted back and forth, according to the BEP.
Those same holographic figurines move up and down if the bill is tilted side to side. There should also be a rough patch on the shoulder of Benjamin Franklin.
If residents question whether or not their $100 bill is authentic, they can take it to their local bank for inspection, Dearcorn said.
He added that police have been unable to determine whether or not the current bills are connected to any recent counterfeiting cases investigated by the GPD.
The GPD is collaborating with the Secret Service and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office to get to the bottom of the case, Dearcorn concluded.