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      Authorities report a rise in counterfeit cash

      The Escanaba Department of Public Safety has reported an increase in counterfeit currency showing up at area businesses.

      Officials are reminding businesses to remain vigilant and beware of any counterfeit currency that may come their way. The Department of Public Safety released some tips on identifying counterfeit bills.

      1. Bleached bills: Hold a bill up to a light and look for a holograph of the face image on the bill. Both images should match. If the $100 bill has been bleached, the hologram will display an image of Abraham Lincoln, instead of Benjamin Franklin. A common tactic of counterfeiters is to bleach a lower denomination bill and make it a high denomination bill.

      2. Looking at the bill through a light will also reveal a thin vertical strip containing text that spells out the bill's denomination.

      3. Color shifting ink: If you hold the new series bill (except the $5) and tilt it back and forth, please observe the numeral in the lower right hand corner as its color shifts from green to black and back.

      4. Watermark: Hold the bill up to a light to view the watermark in an unprinted space to the right of the portrait. The watermark can be seen from both sides of the bill since it is not printed on the bill, but is imbedded in the paper.

      5. Security Thread: Hold the bill up to a light to view the security thread. You will see a thin imbedded strip running from top to bottom on the face of a banknote. In the $10 and $50 the security strip is located to the right of the portrait, and in the $5, $20, and $100 it is located just to the left of the portrait.

      6. Ultraviolet Glow: If the bill is held up to an ultraviolet light, the $5 bill glows blue, the $10 bill glows orange, the $20 bill glows green, the $50 bill glows yellow, and the $100 bill glows red.

      7. Microprinting: There are minute microprinting on the security threads: the $5 bill has "USA FIVE" written on the thread; the $10 bill has "USA TEN" written on the thread; the $20 bill has "USA TWENTY" written on the thread; the $50 bill has "USA 50" written on the thread; and the $100 bill has the words "USA 100" written on the security thread. Microprinting can be found around the portrait as well as on the security threads.

      8. Fine Line Printing Patterns: Very fine lines have been added behind the portrait and on the reverse side scene to make it harder to reproduce.

      9. Comparison: Compare the feel and texture of the paper with other bills you know are authentic.

      You can find additional information on counterfeit bills here.

      The Escanaba Public Safety Department says that if you find a counterfeit bill, do not put yourself in danger, do not return the bill to the person that gave it to you, and delay the person with some excuse if possible. This will give you time to observe their description, which can be given to police. You can also attempt to write down the license plate of their vehicle. Do not over handle the counterfeit money either.