What to do if you come across counterfeit money


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With three counterfeit money investigations underway in Utah, how do consumers make sure fake bills don’t make it into their wallet?

The bottom line, the U.S. Secret Service says it’s the consumers and businesses have the responsibility to know if they come into contact with counterfeit money.

A Secret Service Agent told ABC4 News that genuine U.S. Currency has specific security characteristics that citizens should be aware of.

Information on genuine characteristics of U.S. Currency can be found in this Know Your Money document and this U.S. Currency Quick Reference Guide.

If you suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity, report it immediately to your local police. The U.S. Secret Service will work with your local police.

The Secret Service encourages people to do the following:

  1. Do not put yourself in danger.
  2. Do not return the bill to the passer.
  3. Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible.
  4. Observe the passer’s description – and their companions’ descriptions – and write down their vehicle license plate numbers if you can.
  5. Contact your local police department or call your local U.S. Secret Service Office.
  6. Write your initials and date in the white border area of the suspected counterfeit note.
  7. Do not handle the counterfeit note. Place it inside a protective cover, a plastic bag, or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hands of an identified police officer.
  8. Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a Secret Service Special Agent.


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