Counterfeit $20 Bills Being Circulated 08/23/00

PHONE: 966-5835
AUGUST 23, 2000


Police are cautioning residents to guard against counterfeit $20 bills currently being circulated on the Big Island.

The counterfeit bills, which attempt to reproduce the recently redesigned note with larger portraits, have been seen in the Keaau and Pahoa areas of Puna, but police said they may be circulating islandwide.

A police spokesman said the counterfeit $20 bills are of high quality and are printed on good paper. However, he said, they lack the characteristic watermark and embedded security threads that distinguish genuine $20 bills.

The watermark, based on the note’s portrait, is located in the blank space to the right and is visible from both sides when held up to a light.

In addition, a polymer thread is embedded vertically in the paper in different locations indicating the note’s denomination. The presence of the thin plastic strip running from top to bottom can be verified by holding the bill up to the light.

Except for the new $5 bill, the newly designed currency uses color-shifting ink in the large numeral on the lower right corner. The color of the ink changes from a distinct green to black and back again when the front of the bill is tilted.

Anyone who receives a bogus bill or who may have information on who is circulating the counterfeit money may call police at 935-3311.

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