OAHU, HI (KHON) – It’s was supposed to be an opportunity to learn about business, but some Hawaii Girl Scouts learned another life lesson while selling their cookies, that anyone can be a victim of crime.
While selling cookies in front of the Wal-Mart on Keeaumoku Street this past Friday, someone slipped the troop a counterfeit $50 bill.
It wasn’t until they deposited their money at the bank that the fake bill was detected.
There are ways that you can spot real money from fakes, but it’s getting harder to do.
The government has changed the look of our currency over the years to keep copy cats at bay by adding holograms, security ribbons, even microscopic printing to the bills.
But with cash being passed from hand to hand so quickly it might be hard to tell a real from a fake.
That’s why the Secret Service says the best thing you can do is stop and take time to compare bills, looking and feeling for differences.
Real bills have raised printing that you can feel, fake bills are flat.
Hold the bills up to the light and look for watermarks. The tiny microprinting on the bill should be clear and the ink should not be bleeding or blurry.
While it might be easier to use a counterfeit detector pen to spot a fake, they are not always effective.
In 2013, fake $100 bills were found on Kauai. The U.S. Secret Service says these fakes were actually real five dollar bills that were washed, bleached and then reprinted as $100 bills, so a counterfeit detector pen wouldn’t have detected that something was off.