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New design makes passing funny money more difficult

Staff Report • Oct 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM

As we reported in this paper earlier this week, two Pennsylvania men were arrested Friday and charged with passing counterfeit bills at four Johnson City businesses. U.S. Treasury officials say fake money costs our economy billions of real dollars each year. Even though new currency designs in recent years are aimed at making it more difficult to pass funny money, counterfeiting continues to be a problem.On Tuesday, a newly designed $100 bill went into circulation. The new “Benjamins” feature a bit of color and pizazz to Benjamin Franklin’s iconic face. The new bill has raised printing, which the government says “can be felt throughout the $100 note and gives genuine U.S. currency its distinctive texture.” The new $100 bill also has a strip of blue actually woven into the note as an added security feature. Tilt the bill at an angle and designs on the blue strip change from liberty bells to the number “100.” The U.S. Secret Service also offers the following advice for Americans who believe they have been handed phony bills:Do not return it to the passer.Delay the passer from leaving the business if possible.Observe the passer’s description, as well as that of any companions and the license plate numbers of any vehicles used.If you discover a counterfeit bill, contact your local police department or a Secret Service field office immediately. You can reach the Secret Service’s office in Knoxville at 865-545-4627.

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