According to an alert from the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce, the funny money has recently shown up in the communities of Sioux Center and Orange City. Merchants are advised to be on the lookout and contact their local police if they suspect that someone is using counterfeit money.
Apparently, the problem has been confined to Sioux County over the past few weeks. We checked with the Sheriff’s Offices in Lyon, Osceola and O’Brien counties to see if any funny money has surfaced in their areas recently. O’Brien, Lyon and Osceola counties report not seeing any of the bogus bills lately, although Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says his county has seen an uptick in the number of bad checks being passed in that county.
Experts say there are a couple of ways you might be able to spot these counterfeit $20 bills. The first is to hold the bill up to the light, and examine it to make sure there is a security strip embedded in the paper to the left of Andrew Jackson’s picture. Newer $20’s also have a watermark.
They also say that there are counterfeit detector pens that are available at office supply stores. These pens are designed to chemically react with the wood-based paper normally used by unsophisticated counterfeiters. These are the criminals who use a color copier or color printer to make copies of a genuine bill that are just good enough to go undetected by a cursory glance, and are most often printed onto standard computer paper. When a mark is made on the bill with a counterfeit detector pen, it leaves a black stain. When mark is made on a genuine bill, no change takes place.
Anybody who has suspicions about whether or not the currency being passed is legitimate, should contact their local law enforcement.