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CCSO warns of rise of counterfeit money crimes

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Updated: 10/07/2013 8:37 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Unit is raising awareness about counterfeit crimes. Deputies are sending out a counterfeit money crime warning a day before the new $100 bills hit the banks.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office told Action News that it is investigating a number of recent counterfeit money cases.

Deputies are asking people to report any suspicious bills. They also put out a public service announcement to inform area residents about the crime.

Authorities arrested three men for allegedly distributing counterfeit money at local stores this summer.

Starting Tuesday, banks will start seeing the new $100 bill, which has been changed for a fresh look and to reduce counterfeiting.

Mike Tomko with the First Community Credit Union in Jacksonville thinks we may see more counterfeiting cases because of the changes to the bill.

"We'll see a little bit of a jump in counterfeit detection for a while before really everyone catches on to what the new bill looks like," said Tomko.

Tomko said money inside the credit union is screened before it goes out and before it comes in.

"When we're counting our currency from the machine, it identifies it, and kicks it out as a reject and then we deal with it from there," said Tomko.

He said every time a new bill is put out, the Federal Reserve tightens up security.

"The Federal Reserve has a number of security devices built into the bill, and they are anything from threads to color chips in there that we can identify," said Tomko.

The new security measures include anything from a 3D security ribbon, to a color-shifting bell in the inkwell to the right of Ben Franklin. Also, there is a watermark of Franklin on the right side.

"Its getting more and more sophisticated because years ago it was maybe two or three now there are maybe as many as 12-15 security items in a bill," said Tomko.

Tomko said he hopes those items protect banks, businesses, and consumers.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says they work closely with the secret service to carefully investigate these cases.
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