Secret Service Investigates Counterfeit $10's Around Nevada - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Check your wallet, check your cash. There's a counterfeit ring going on around the state and it involves 10 dollar bills. More than 50 thousand in tens have been handed over to the Secret Service.News 3's Stacey Escalante tells us why federal agents are having such a hard time catching the crooks.

People give Darnella money all morning long, but sometimes she can't take it. "The man came in with on one side a 10, on the other a dollar." She keeps an eye out for funny money. "Oh yeah, we have to watch out or else we're losing money for me, my bonuses ... heck yeah, I want to know who's doing it!"

So does the Secret Service. Right now, agents are investigating a counterfeit ring that involves fake ten dollar bills. "It could be anybody from a high school student to a tweaker to organized crime." So far, over fifty thousand in fake bills were used in slot machines at several casinos and convenience stores in Las Vegas, Laughlin, and Reno. For some reason, the bill validators inside some machines aren't recognizing the fake bills.

"It's a little frustrating because a real person will notice counterfeit before a machine notices a counterfeit." Since the machines aren't spitting back the fake bills, agents rely on casino security and store clerks to be on the lookout for suspicious activity." They say you can help too. Know what real money looks like. In this case, the fake tens don't have a watermark. On a genuine bill, hold it up to the light, and the watermark is located on the right side of every type of bill.

"You want to be sure the money you have is good money, not counterfeit because it's kind of like a hot potato. Whoever is stuck with the money last is the one stuck with it." At least two casinos in Laughlin aren't accepting 10 dollar bills while this scam is going on.

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