Funny money easier to make, harder to spot

Posted at 10:18 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 23:31:33-04

WAUWATOSA — If you plan to pay with cash at Puhl's True Value hardware store, prepare to have your money put to the test.

"We did get burned a couple years ago," said store clerk Alex Legan. "We thought it was time to make the investment."

That investment was in a small scanner located next to each of the store's three registers.

It scans every piece of paper currency larger than a dollar bill to verify it is legitimate.

It's a small price to pay, Legan said, after they were stuck holding several phony $100 bills.

"We have not got burned on this yet," he said. "It's been very effective."

The U.S. Secret Service investigates counterfeit cases.

Just last year they made 1,500 arrests around the world.

The head of Milwaukee's office of the Secret Service says technology has made printing fake money easier than ever.

"It's a laptop, it's a printer, it can be mobile," said resident agent in charge Cary Dyer. "They can have it in their cars, in a hotel, in their house."

While scanners can help detect counterfeit bills, Dyer suggests people get familiar with telling real money from fake.

"Our recommendation has always been and will always be training and education. See it. Eyeball it. Touch it. Make sure it feels right," Dyer said.

To learn more about how to detect counterfeit currency, click here.