State police warn of counterfeit $100 bills circulating in area

Pennsylvania State Police are warning businesses in the area that counterfeit $100 bills have been circulating in the area and appear to defy rapid detection using standard counterfeit detector pens.

“We have had two reports in the past few days of locally transmitted counterfeits. In over 20 years as a soldier, I have never seen them circumvent counterfeit detector pens like this before,” said State Trooper Stephen Limani.

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

When the soldier responded and used a detection pen on the suspected counterfeit money, the marking turned light yellow.

“If it’s a counterfeit, the line would usually be dark brown or even black,” Limani said.

Limani said the soldier took the suspected counterfeit note to a nearby PNC bank, also in Hempfield, to find out if the note was fake “and they said they had a counterfeit one too – with the same serial number” .

“It apparently passed and was detected in a night depot,” he said.

Limani said the two counterfeit notes were being passed to the US Secret Service for further investigation.

According to Limani, the counterfeit notes look “much older” than the genuine $100. Ben Franklin’s portrait on the counterfeit note is much smaller than on a legitimate note.

Limani said the two counterfeit $100 bills also had 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 are asking anyone who may see any of these bills to contact us and record video security footage so we can find out who is circulating them,” Limani said.

In December, police in Blairsville, Indiana County reported that counterfeit $100 bills were passed through a Tractor Supply store and a Dollar General store in separate incidents. Additionally, on December 15, Indiana State Police reported that a man passed a counterfeit $100 bill at a Sally Beauty store in White Township.

Anyone with information about counterfeit bills adopted in Westmoreland should contact the State Police at 724-832-3288

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

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