Evanston police see increase in counterfeit money

Paige Leskin, City Editor

There has been a recent increase in the amount of counterfeit money circulating to Evanston businesses, police said Monday.

The Evanston Police Department has received many reports of counterfeit currency passing through the local community, officials said. To combat the rise, EPD sent out information to residents about what they can do to prevent counterfeiting.

With the emergence of more high-tech computers and printers, people are finding it easier to make their own counterfeit money, Evanston police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said. 

Officers have received multiple calls from businesses who were given counterfeit $20 bills and did not initially realize, he said. The denomination is often not considered high enough in value to attract suspicion and can be easily accepted by business owners, police said.

New versions of U.S. bills and the continued circulation of older bills increase the variety of currency and make it harder for residents to spot forged bills, Parrott said.

Because of this, he said, police hope to educate the public on the features of specific bills, ranging from $5 to $100.

EPD is looking to make residents more aware of counterfeiting, what they should look for and when they should notify police of wrongdoing, Parrott said.

All reported incidents of counterfeit money are investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, police said. The EPD gives all reported counterfeit money to the Secret Service, Parrott said.

Police encouraged anyone who thinks they are in possession of counterfeit U.S. currency to notify their local police department or their local U.S. Secret Service office. EPD will go to the location of a business if it reports counterfeit money, officials said.

Parrott advised business owners to call police while a person who has tried to use counterfeit money is still on the scene in order to better assist in a later investigation.

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Twitter: @paigeleskin