K.P.D. Offers Tips to Help Detect Counterfeit Currency


KINGSPORT – On July 18, 2014 the Kingsport Police Department issued a news release warning citizens that there has been a recent surge in the amount of counterfeit currency circulating in the area.‚  To view this original release, please visit the following link:


K.P.D. is offering several tips that anyone can use to help detect counterfeit currency:

Obtain and use a counterfeit detector pen. These pens are readily available and easily affordable at various office supply and department stores in the area.‚  These pens will instantly identify a counterfeit bill that is printed on anything other than official United States currency paper.

• Because the counterfeit detector pens are so inexpensive and highly effective, counterfeiters have taken to bleaching genuine bills of lesser denominations (typically $5 and $10 bills) and reprinting them into $20, $50, and $100 bills.‚  In these cases, the counterfeit detector pen will not indicate that the bill is a fake.‚  Fortunately, there are several other quick and easy methods of verification.

1)‚ ‚  Check the watermark. On a genuine federal reserve note, there will be a watermark visible when the bill is held up to the light showing the same presidents face as is printed on the bill.‚  When the above bleaching method is used, the face in the watermark and the face printed on the bill will not match indicating that the bill is a counterfeit.

2)‚ ‚  Check the security thread. On all genuine federal reserve notes except the $1 and $2 bill, there is a security thread visible when the bill is held up to the light.‚  The thread will read USA FIVE, USA TEN, USA TWENTY, etc.‚  When the above bleaching method is used, the denomination on the security thread and the denomination printed on the bill will not match indicating that the bill is a counterfeit.

3)‚ ‚  Check the serial number. Each and every genuine United States Federal Reserve Note has a unique serial number.‚  Often when counterfeiters produce fake currency, they will not take the time and effort to change the serial number when they are producing multiple bills.‚  If you receive multiple bills at the same time, take a second to verify that no two bills have the exact same serial number.‚  If they do, at least one of the bills is a counterfeit.

Following is a link to the United States Secret Service Know Your Money guide which describes in detail how to verify that you are in possession of a genuine Federal Reserve Note.


And remember, any individual who comes into possession of counterfeit United States currency is required by law to notify law enforcement and turn it in immediately.