YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Another counterfeit $100 bill turned up in Wyckoff, only this time it was at a different pharmacy and it was accepted. But police now have a clear image of the person who passed both bills, which apparently were printed on bleached-out fives, Police Chief Benjamin Fox said.
Although both incidents happened last Tuesday night, it wasn’t until the Benjamin in the second instance hit the bank that anyone knew it was bogus.
The clerk in the first instance sniffed out the funny money, and the bad guy took off (SEE: Police warn of counterfeit $100s).
The clerk in the second case used a detection marker that indicated the bill was good, because it was printed on genuine currency that had been bleached and then reprinted, Fox said.
“Because the bill is the original paper used by the Federal Mint, the marker indicates that it is good. It’s the denomination that has been changed,” the chief said. “That bill was likely passed the same day and the pharmacy will be out the money.”
The same person passed both bills, Fox said (see surveillance photo). He’s described Hispanic, in his late teen to early 20s. He was spotted getting into a red/maroon colored minivan with Florida license plates. An older man was behind the wheel, the chief said.
His investigators are hoping someone recognizes him and calls them.
In the meantime, Fox suggested merchants go to the U.S. Secret Service website, “where they can print out color photos to assist in detecting fraudulent currency. This information should be made available to clerks that collect cash.”
The chief also offered some basic tips:
• When the bills are bleached, they do not bleach out the watermark. A phony $100 bill will have an Abraham Lincoln watermark if it was originally $5, instead of the Benjamin Franklin watermark on a real $100 bill.
• Bleaching also does not remove the security thread in the paper. A real $100 bill has a vertical line that reads “USA 100″ when held up to light. A $5 bill has a security thread that reads “USA FIVE” when held to light.
• The 100 in the lower left corner on the front of a real $100 bill has micro printing in the numbers that read “100USA.” This wording is illegible in a counterfeit bill.
“Any business taking a bill that they deem suspicious should maintain custody of the bill and immediately contact their local police department,” Fox said.