Long lines of holiday shoppers may be a business owner's dream, but the hustle and bustle of the season is prime time for counterfeiters to prey on both cashiers and consumers. The United States Secret Service recommends shoppers make sure they visually inspect their currency before walking away from store registers or bank tellers.
If a retailer or consumer suspects a bill is counterfeit, they should compare the bill to a note of the same series and denomination that is known to be genuine. The note in question should display the proper watermark, as well as the proper security thread that is consistent with that denomination. The following resources contain valuable information on how to detect counterfeit notes by identifying the security features that are embedded within U.S. currency: "Know Your Money," www.secretservice.gov/know_your_... and www.moneyfactory.gov (Bureau of Engraving and Printing's website).
Retailers and consumers also need to be mindful of criminals attempting to steal or use stolen credit cards, credit card numbers or store gift cards. Retailers should continue to actively compare credit card signatures with photo IDs, and consumers should carefully scrutinize card transactions and card statements to ensure their cards are not compromised.
If you suspect you may have a counterfeit bill or you may be a possible victim of financial fraud, contact local police and/or the U.S. Secret Service's Toledo Resident Office at (419) 259-6434.