Ben Franklin is often credited with the phrase, ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’, but the phony bills bearing his image aren’t worth a red cent.
A security officer first spotted them within the last week at the Bank of Glen Burnie on Crain Highway, and Bank President & CEO Michael Livingston says they are difficult to distinguish from the real thing.
"These are very good copies,” said Livingston, “When we looked at the bills, what we saw was raised print that shouldn't have been raised. Also, when you held the bill up the faces of the portraits didn't exactly match. So we sent them off to the Secret Service for confirmation."
Livingston alerted the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, and it has warned its more than 500 member businesses to look out for the A-grade C-notes.
"People get busy in retail that take cash,” said Chamber CEO Fran Schmidt, “You might not check all the bills and part of the issue is people are very use to the yellow pen that they mark it with. These are more sophisticated. It's not showing up so we want to warn people---take a little more time... check the cash that comes in."
Counterfeiters have been known to flush an area with bills to get the most bang from their bogus bucks before anyone catches on and that’s what civic leaders are trying to prevent.
"If you only take one counterfeit bill maybe you can sustain that loss, but if you take several of these it impacts our businesses and in this economy, we don't want businesses taking counterfeit bills because we don't want them taking a loss," said Schmidt.
Another bank in nearby Pasadena has also turned up some of the bills, and it appears they may be circulating throughout North/Central Anne Arundel County.
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