Counterfeit bills circulating in Marquette County

The Marquette City Police Department picked up a few counterfeit $20 bills from the Wells Fargo in downtown Marquette Monday.

Phony bills are passing through Marquette County and the police department wants to inform the public on how to spot a fake.

At face value a counterfeit $20 might look like the real thing, but the similarities end there.

Three highly effective methods to spot a bogus bill include the feel of the bill, as imposters are made with a paper heavy blend.

“Another thing to look for is the color shifting ink, on the bottom right hand corner of the bill,” said Detective Lt. Mike Kohler, with the Marquette City PD. “It’d be a $10 denomination, or a $20. It’ll shift from green to gold when you tilt the bill. The other ways would be the security thread. On a $20 bill it will say, written out twenty, twenty, twenty, twenty, vertically on the bill. Fives of course would say five.”

Another giveaway is the watermark showing which figure’s face is on the bill. That mark doesn’t exist on frauds.

One technique some people use to identify a fake is using a marker on bad bills, but this isn’t a 100% effective method as some counterfeits are made with a higher starch quality.

“You would put a marker swipe, or an X, or whatever,” Detective Lt. Kohler said. “If it shows up as a darker color then you would say the bill is suspect. If it’s a lighter color, a gold or a brown, then you would say that it’s genuine. That’s not always true.”

The Marquette City Police have discovered about 10 cases of bad 20s, and even a few dishonest Abes, in the city and surrounding area.