State police warn of counterfeit $100 bills circulating in Westmoreland

·2 min read

Jan. 14—Pennsylvania State Police are warning area businesses that some counterfeit $100 bills have been circulated in the area that appear to defy rapid detection using the standard counterfeit detector pens.

"We've had two reports in the past few days of the counterfeits being passed locally. In over 20 years as a trooper, I never saw them get around the counterfeit detector pens like this before," said state Trooper Stephen Limani.

Limani said one bill was passed this week at Sally Beauty in Greengate Center Plaza in Hempfield.

When the trooper responded and used a detection pen on the suspected fake currency, the marking turned a light yellow.

"If it's counterfeit, the line usually would be a dark brown or even black," Limani said.

Limani said the trooper took the suspected counterfeit bill to a nearby PNC Bank, also in Hempfield, to inquire whether the bill was fake "and they said they had a counterfeit one too — with the same serial number."

"It apparently came through and was detected in a night deposit," he said.

Limani said both fake bills are being forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service for further investigation.

According to Limani, the fake bills appear to look "much older" than authentic $100s. The Ben Franklin portrait on the fake bill is much smaller than on a legitimate bill.

Limani said both counterfeit $100s also carried the same serial number B22081273B. He said genuine currency also has a security thread — a plastic strip — running from top to bottom that consumers can see to verify authenticity.

"We're asking anyone who may see any of these bills to contact us and save video security footage so we are able to learn who who is circulating them," Limani said.

On December, Blairsville police in Indiana County reported fake $100 bills were passed at a Tractor Supply store and Dollar General store in separate incidents. Also, on Dec. 15, state police in Indiana reported that a man passed a counterfeit $100 bill at a Sally Beauty store in White Township.

Anyone with information on the counterfeit bills being passed in Westmoreland should contact state police at 724-832-3288

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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