New counterfeit bills found in Washburn

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Method of washing, reprinted bills new for local officers

Counterfeit bills have been found at times in Barry County for a number of years, however, officers in the city of Washburn are seeing a new method of counterfeiting.

Lt. Randy Kalbaugh, road patrol deputy with the Barry County Sheriff’s Office and city of Washburn officer, said although there have been counterfeit bills in the county, most of them have pink Chinese writing on them.

“The ones that we have seen more recently are different because they don’t have the pink writing,” he said. “The newest ones we have seen have been in only one incident so far, but if you look at the back of the $20 bill, you can just barely make out the ‘1’ on the back.”

Kalbaugh said the $1 bills are being washed and reprinted as $20 bills.

“So, the ink marker will show it as real money,” he said. “To find out if it is a real $20 bill, you look for the magnetic strip.”

Kalbaugh said $1 bills do not have that magnetic strip.

“So far, we have only had the one incident here with these specific bills,” he said. “It went through Peoples Community Bank in Seligman, and they were the ones to catch it.”

Kalbaugh said the makers of the bills have not been identified, but he wanted to bring it to the attention of the City Council in Washburn.

“If a person finds a bill that is counterfeit, they should bring it to their local law enforcement,” he said. “If you get one at, for example, a convenient store, let the employee know. They will then get in touch with law enforcement. If they can lead us to the individuals they got it from, then we have something to work with.”

Kalbaugh said it is not unusual to see a rise in counterfeit bills over a certain period of time.

“I mean, people can go online and order prop money,” he said. “But this new bill is so much different because it looks and feels like real money because it is real, it just isn’t printed with the proper value.”

Kalbaugh said he believes some of this counterfeit money is possibly coming from a local source.

“On the county side, we have arrested a couple of local people that were using prop money,” he said. “But, this is something new that people are learning to do, and I think we will see more and more of it as time goes on.”

Kalbaugh said these new bills may feel like real money and have the right size, but the color is off just a little bit.

“The biggest tip is for people to look for the magnetic strip in a $20 bill,” he said. “If you can’t see it, then ask for another bill.”

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