By Karen Butterfield
Union Missourian Editor
Police are investigating 10 reports of counterfeit cash passed in Union in January.
In all of 2017, there were 28 reported cases of counterfeiting, which was a dramatic increase over four in 2016, according to Union police. There were seven reports in 2015 and 13 in 2014.
Many of the reports this year came from gas stations and restaurants, though other businesses and even some individual residents have made reports as well.
Union police reminded people on its Facebook page that counterfeit cash hurts the economy.
“Funny Money, fake money, bogus cash... Whatever you call it, it is counterfeit money,” the social media post says. “It hurts our local businesses and individuals (who) happen to come into contact with it.”
The best defense, police said, is to “know your money.”
The police department linked social media users to U.S. Currency Education websites so people can learn about everything from security features to ink, serial numbers and other distinguishing features on various currencies.
According to the United States Treasury Department, those who suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity should report it immediately to the U.S. Secret Service, or to local police.
It also urges people not to put themselves in danger or return the bill to the passer but to delay the passer, if possible.
Other advice includes observing the person’s description and writing down a license plate number if possible.
People should only surrender the bill or coin to a properly identified police officer or a Secret Service special agent, or mail it to the nearest U.S. Secret Service field office.
The department notes that there is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, “but it is doing the ‘right thing’ to help combat counterfeiting.”
To view design and security features, visit www.uscurrency.gov.