Real cash or counterfeit? Here’s how to figure it out

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - On Wednesday, two people from Elkmont were arrested after Limestone County deputies said they found $23,000 in counterfeit money at their home.

It's something that happens all too often. So how to you spot counterfeit money?

The bills look almost identical at first glance, but there are some differences in security features, color and even texture.

Limestone County Sheriff's Office spokesman Stephen Young said the bills they found in Elkmont were printed on printer paper, as opposed to the fiber and cotton blend real money is made of.

"It doesn't have anywhere near the feel of the authentic bill," Young said.

He also points out that when you hold a bill up to the light, a real one has a security strip and watermark inside.

"It's a duplicate of Ben Franklin's portrait in the real one, and you don't see that in the counterfeit on top," he said.

The blue strip also is holographic on authentic bills, and the Liberty Bell is printed in reflective gold ink. Neither of these features were able to be duplicated on the counterfeit money seized.

"That's why it's not a good copy," Young said. "And they are not going to put a lot of resources into trying to match up all those really difficult things to do. Most of the time what you're going to see is just household printer, household paper. You know, things you can buy at the local store, and that's why it's so easy to spot it."

Young said as long as someone is paying fairly close attention, counterfeit money can be spotted, even if it's a good copy.

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