Counterfeit bills are showing up across Lincoln, and police there are urging workers to check currency for telltale signs.
Between Sept. 1 and Wednesday, the Lincoln Police Department investigated 21 incidents in which people tried to pass off counterfeit bills. The bills showed up at such businesses as convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants, police said.
The counterfeit currency is ranging from $5 bills to $100 bills.
Counterfeit bills can be detected in several ways, police said. Workers at the businesses that were given the bills noticed the money “didn’t feel right” and also did not have some basic security features such as the orange background colors. In other cases, police said, the bills lacked the embedded security thread that glows when illuminated by ultraviolet light.
Last year at this time, Lincoln police had investigated 138 counterfeit cases. So far this year, police said, the department has investigated 160 counterfeit cases. Over the last five years, Lincoln police have investigated about 270 counterfeit cases with a total annual loss of approximately $24,000.
Police said they are working with businesses to identify the people who passed the bills through video surveillance and other means.
“We encourage business employees to slow down and check higher denomination currency for security features,” a department spokeswoman said in a statement. The information can be found on the U.S. Currency Education Program’s website, uscurrency.gov/denominations.