Sheriff Shane Fisher issued an alert last week to let the public and local businesses know that there are counterfeit $100 bills circulating in Wayne County. Several fake bills have been reported at businesses over the last few days.

    Sheriff Fisher advises the public and businesses to please be careful when dealing with any denomination of currency, but most especially $100 bills.

   Counterfeit money is a problem businesses need to guard against on an ongoing basis. If a business accepts a fake bill in payment for merchandise or services, they lose both the face value of the bill they received, plus any goods or services they provided to the customer who paid with the counterfeit bill. When retailers accept fake bills, they bear the entire burden of the loss.

   Small business owners need to be aware of the many ways to detect counterfeit money. The Secret Service and U.S. Treasury offer these suggestions:

-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, who appears on the $5 bills, instead of Benjamin Franklin.

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

-Color-shifting ink: If you hold the new series bill (except the $5 note) 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.

-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.

-Security Thread: Hold he bill 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.

-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 – if they are authentic!

-Microprinting: There is very 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.

-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.

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

   If you believe you have received a counterfeit bill, the U.S. Treasury advises you to do the following:

-Do not put yourself in danger.

-Do not return the bill to the passer.

-Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible.

-Observe the passer’s description – and their companions’ descriptions – and write down their vehicle license plate numbers if you can.

   If you feel you have been the victim of receiving counterfeit money, or have any questions, please contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 931-722-3615, Monday through Friday from 8:00-5:00, or 931-722-3613 after hours.