Retailers, check that cash you’re getting really carefully. That’s the message being sent out by the Chula Vista Police Department, which just issued a warning that counterfeit money cases are up in San Diego.

Counterfeiters are getting better and better at getting their fake cash past routine checks that retailers have long relied on, the warning states. For example, the iodine marking pen that many storekeepers rely on to pinpoint false money is no longer effective, as many counterfeiters have figured out ways to make their fake money pen-proof, the department warns.

The press release reads:

The Chula Vista Police Department would like to advise people accepting US currency to carefully evaluate the bills being passed. Be particularly alert to people who are passing numerous bills and evaluate each one individually. In addition, be aware of persons who are making inexpensive purchases in an attempt to “break” larger bills. A cashier should also be alert to people trying to distract or confuse them while handling money.

Individuals who have been passed fake money should contact their local police department, the CVPD advises, and the department has some tips for retailers concerned about counterfeit cash:

Most of the counterfeit bills being passed within Chula Vista lacked the following security features inherent to genuine US currency:

  • Security threads with UV reactions (should be red/pink colored for $100


  • Color shifting ink
  • Watermarks
  • Microprint

Security threads and watermarks should only be noticed when the bill is held up to natural light (not while merely lying flat) and should be noticeable from both sides of the paper. The watermark should be an exact replica of the person pictured on the money.  The security thread should reflect the exact denomination of the bill. 

The color shifting ink should be a definite color shift, not just appear shiny or glittery.  Color shifting ink is located in the lower right hand corner on the denomination. For a $100 bill, the ink should change from black to green and vice versa. For other denominations (10’s and higher), the color shifting ink should change from copper to green and vice versa. Microprint, security threads and watermarks are on $5 and

higher denominations.


Click here for more from Pounding the Pavement 

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.