Kauai police warns public of increase in counterfeit money

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Photo: Emily Metcalf

REPORT FROM KAUAI COUNTY – LĪHU’E – Kaua’i businesses are seeing an increase in counterfeit bills being circulated across the island and police officials are urging the public to be on alert.

“Once you accept a counterfeit bill, there’s almost nothing that can be done to recover lost funds,” states Assistant Chief Roy Asher of the Investigative Services Bureau. “This is why we’re urging business owners to take proper precautions when accepting payment.”

The types of counterfeits can vary from fake bills printed on regular paper, to actual bills that are “washed” and reprinted with a new denomination. Washed bills are especially difficult to identify because a counterfeit detection pen won’t always detect a fake, so business owners and employees must know what to look for when examining money.


To properly identify counterfeit bills, KPD offers these tips:

  • Compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and look for differences, not similarities.
  • A genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out from the background, while a counterfeit portrait will appear lifeless and flat.
  • The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On counterfeit, the lines may be broken or indistinct.
  • Genuine serial numbers have a distinct style and are evenly spaced, and they are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury seal.

For more tips on how to detect counterfeit money, visit the U.S. Secret Service website at www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.

Anyone with information on individuals involved in the making or circulating of counterfeit bills are urged to call Police Dispatch at 241-1711. Anonymous tipsters may call CrimeStoppers at 241-1887, or submit an online Suspicious Activity Report via the police the website,www.kauai.gov/police.





  1. this would be pretty useful to know as a citizen, but you can't just walk around with a lamp to test every bill you come in contact with… and you can't give up cash either

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