Some thieves found a quick way to turn $5 into $100 and authorities want to ensure that you’re not the one to pay for their ingenuity.
The unidentified counterfeiters apparently took some legit $5 bills, bleached them and altered them to pass as $100. Then they spent some of the cash at a company in southeastern Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.
Some companies use special pens to test the authenticity of cash, but those cannot make a definitive ruling when cash has been altered.
To check to see if the money in your wallet is authentic,
The U.S. Secret Service investigates counterfeiting operations, but didn't say how many the phony bills are in circulation.
There are ways to spot phony bills:
Hold the bill up to light and look for a watermark of the face image on the bill. Both images should match. If you have one of these phony $100s, you should see Abraham Lincoln rather than Ben Franklin.
Holding the bill up to the light also will reveal a thin vertical strip spelling out the bill's denomination.
A business could recoup a loss from the fake cash, but you, as an individual, cannot.