Jefferson Co. Sheriff's Office warns of increase in counterfeit bills

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 15:53:28-05

GOLDEN, Colo. – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a recent spike in fraud cases involving counterfeit bills.

A post on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page said deputies took 30 reports of counterfeit money in Nov. and Dec. 2016. During the same time period in 2015, the sheriff’s office only had four such cases.

Deputies said people should be especially vigilant when taking cash from others, such as at garage sales or when selling an item through a website like Craigslist.

Each bill denomination is unique, but they all have similar security features.

Here are some of the key things to look for:

Watermarks: The $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills all have watermarks that are visible when you hold the bill up to light.

Colors: Newer versions of most bills are printed on multi-colored paper and feature designs printed in various colors of ink. The $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills also have special color-shifting ink that changes color depending on the light.

Security thread: All bills except the $1 and $2 notes have a clear security thread running vertically through them that can be seen only when the bill is held up to light. The threads also glow different colors when exposed to UV light.

For more information on the security features specific to each denomination, visit

If you think you’ve received a counterfeit bill, you should contact local law enforcement so that they can track where the money came from.


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