Phony bills spotted in East Texas

By Lakecia Shockley
Posted by Michael Hetrick

It's a phony money scam with a twist.  East Texas crooks are turning "fives" into "Franklins". While some fake money is obvious, this new crop of counterfeit hundreds is a little harder to spot.

A U-V light reveals it all.  A genuine, real hundred dollar bill complete with security thread and watermark.  But upon close inspection, the image shows Ben Franklin but the watermark shows Abraham Lincoln.

It's a phony bill that the Suzanne Sanders received from the bank.

"I said this just looks a little funny to me, it's darker in color than the other ones.  And then when he held it up to the light and looked at the treasury strip, we both kind of had a jaw dropping moment because we realized that it was a counterfeit bill."

Suzanne isn't the only phony money victim.  The U.S. Secret Service, says phony money is being circulated right here in East Texas.

"People will bleach a five dollar bill or a one dollar bill and print on the top of that a 50, a 20, or a 100,"  says Nona Burke, whose is a resident agent of the U.S. Secret Service.  She investigate counterfeit money.

"This actually is a genuine five which they have bleached and put a fifty onto," Burke said.

"There is a water mark for the five dollar bill. The security thread which you' probably can't see too well is a five dollar security thread."

Checking the security thread and watermarks can keep you from becoming a victim.  However, because these phony bills are real fives on real-money paper, .counterfeit pins won't work.

"Those pins can be counterfeited themselves. You can buy pins that say they are the detection pins and they actually do not detect anything at all."

Good advice and luckily for the Sanders they got their real hundred back from the bank.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.