Trumbull officials warn of counterfeit $100 bills

LIBERTY, Ohio (WYTV) – Several businesses in Trumbull County were the victim of a counterfeit money scheme, prompting a warning from police.

The Liberty Police Department released surveillance video of a woman who bought two packs of cigarettes with a $100 bill on Monday at the Dollar General on Logan Way. Jessica Banks, an assistant manager at the One Stop Mart in Liberty said the same woman passed out fake $100 bills at her store too.

“We are out $100. We can’t get it back from anybody,” Banks said.

Hubbard police said the same woman also passed a counterfeit bill at the Dollar General on West Liberty Street.

The bills look pretty real, but by taking a closer look, it is easy to see there are some things wrong with them. The texture is not the same as a real bill and the ink looks smudged, and the 100 is not raised.

Christopher Wentz, an information security officer for Farmers National Bank, said most fakes pass the pen test because they are made from real money. However, a quick check of the color shifting ink can easily spot a counterfeit.

“All the printing is always very crisp, very clear on a good bill. Depending on the counterfeit, you will find they start to blur,” Wentz said. “You will be able to find the denomination printed on the bill and as you tilt that bill back and forth, the ink will change either from a brown to a green, or a black to a green.”

Wentz said the newest bills have even more security features, but it is only a matter of time before criminals try making knockoffs of them as well.

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