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Secret Service: $2 Million in Counterfeit Bills In Denver Metro Area

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Published on: July 30, 2019

That’s a lot of fake cash!  However, can you tell the difference between a real and fake $20 Federal Reserve “I owe you note,” commonly referred to as money?  Most people couldn’t tell the difference, but we are being warned by the Secret Service that more than $2 million in fake currency is floating around the Denver, Colorado metro area currently.

Infowars’ David Knight reported on the situation recently.

Additionally, Denver 7 also reported on Monday concerning the warning.

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Here in the Denver area, more than $2 million in fake 10s, 20s and 100s are floating around at any given moment, being passed between customers and businesses and between private sellers and buyers. And many don’t even know it’s happening.

Despite all the security features and anti-counterfeiting technology that has gone into printing U.S. currency, it’s easier to get your hands of fake money now than ever before. Much of it is perfectly legal. However, even some of that online money does not meet federal guidelines for what is referred to as movie or prop money.

Store clerks and cashiers run into it every day. Tammy Hale, a desk clerk at a Travelodge, nearly missed it.

“It felt like new money stuck together – kind of thick,” she noticed. “When I ran my pen across it, it definitely was not real.”

Tammy admits the fakes can be very good. In her words, they look just like the real thing. And the reason these bills are making it past so many businesses and individuals is simple.

“Most people do not take the time to really look at the money they accept,” says Matt Cybert, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service field office in Denver.


The report goes on to state:

Cybert says 80% of the counterfeit bills that change hands are terrible fakes. And it would only take a few seconds to figure that out.

Truth is, most of us don’t. And that’s why Denver businesses and individuals are losing that $2 million every year. Remember, the last person to touch it pays the price.

“Businesses aren’t taking the time to train, and they also aren’t taking the time to look at the currency as it comes in,” says Cybert.

In fact, our local Secret Service holds periodic seminars to help store employees better understand how to pick the fakes from the real thing. Yet, when these seminars start, few, if any, ever show up to learn.

That is music to the counterfeiters’ ears. And more and more also have technology to thank for giving them the confidence to succeed.

However, this is not recent activity.

in January 2017, the local Denver CBS outlet reported on a couple being sought in connection with passing off counterfeit $20 bills.

Investigators in Jefferson County are looking into a rise of counterfeit money cases.

Twisted Sammie, a locally owned sandwich shop in Littleton, had customers use bogus multiple $20 bills at least twice in November and December 2016.

“I was pretty surprised, pretty disappointed,” store owner Curtis, who asked CBS4 not to use his last name, said.

Curtis didn’t realize the money was fake until he went to deposit the cash at his bank. When he found more fake bills a couple days later, he was able to pinpoint which customers used the fake cash on surveillance video.

“They’re the ones who handed over the 20s to us,” Curtis said of the images he shared with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Two people have been accused of using fake money at the Twisted Sammie in Jefferson County (credit: Jefferson County)

Two people have been accused of using fake money at the Twisted Sammie in Jefferson County (credit: Jefferson County)

More than $100 in bogus bills were used at the sandwich shop, hitting the small business hard.

“It’s not just the fake 20s you receive, it’s the customer who’s getting change in real money,” Curtis said. “So you’re losing that twenty plus the change and it’s a compounding effect.”

Then, in August of that year, The Denver Post reported on counterfeit $100 bills being used at restaurants.

Lights out. Police were called to AutoZone, 5365 S. Wadsworth Blvd. after a man reportedly stole about $100 in light bulbs and small electronics. An employee said the man asked him about picking out headlamps for his car at around 8:45 p.m. July 18. Minutes later he ran out of the store, tripping a security alarm, and jumped into a car that sped away. Employees gave police part of a license plate number to try to track the vehicle.

No pie for you. A woman tried to buy two pies using a fake $100 bill at Village Inn at 7381 W. Alameda Ave. on July 25, police said. The manager told police that the bill was an obvious fake, and when asked about it, the woman said: “Oh, I don’t know, my friends gave it to me.” The manager said he was keeping the bill, and the woman left without the pies. Village Inn employees planned to give police security camera images of the woman, and police said they would check security footage from nearby businesses for images of the car she may have been riding in. Police kept the $100 bill.

Price-less pancakes. Police were called to IHOP at 389 S. Wadsworth Blvd. at about 2 a.m. July 29 on reports that a customer had paid with a counterfeit $100 bill. The manager said a fake $100 bill was left to pay for a $62.25 tab. He said he was unable to contact any of the two young men and two young women who were sitting at the table. IHOP personnel said they would give security footage to police. The counterfeit bill was given to Lakewood police as evidence.

Not a clean getaway. Police were called to Walmart, 7455 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood, shortly after 5 p.m. July 28 on a report of shoplifting. A security officer said a woman selected a backpack, chocolate milk and shampoo from store shelves and then walked outside without paying, ripping off the price tags. The items were valued at $18.03. When confronted, the woman apologized and said she did not mean to take the items, the security officer said. Police said she also was carrying a wallet that belonged to a male she could not fully identify. She was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and charges related to identify theft.

One would think if you were seeking to clear cash from fake bills, you would go to the Denver airport, but hey, I’m no criminal so I’m just guessing that would be a smarter way to exchange your Monopoly money for the government’s Monopoly money.

Be safe out there!

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