By Tony Parra
Portales residents may be carrying counterfeit bills in their wallets and purses and not even know it. The Portales Police Department will conduct a seminar on how to detect counterfeit money at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Memorial Building to help those people.
Portales Police Department Detective Johnny Parker said the goal of the seminar is to ensure that business employers and employees can detect a counterfeit bill when they receive it. The seminar is free and open to the public.
Parker said the seminar will also be helpful for anyone who wants to know how to detect a counterfeit bill.
Parker said he will show those in attendance what to look for on a bill. He said the key is to look for safety features on the bills.
Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said there were incidents during the Christmas holiday in which Portales business employees received counterfeit money. Berry said they gathered counterfeit $20 bills and even counterfeit $1 bills.
Berry said he didn’t understand why someone would make counterfeit $1 bills, because the materials and labor are worth more than the results.
Parker said police officials encounter many problems when trying to track down the source of the counterfeit bills.
“Some people may be carrying around counterfeit money and not even know it,” Parker said. “They don’t know how or where they got it from. This makes it difficult to track the original source.”
Parker said most of the counterfeit bills are $20s, $50s and $100s. He said the advancement of technology has also made it more difficult on law enforcement. He said more people are trying to make counterfeit bills.
“The goal of the seminar is so that someone can detect a counterfeit bill by looking at it and touching it,” Parker said.
Parker said it’s a lot to expect out of cashiers and employees to be able to screen for counterfeit bills during instances in which they are rushed and many customers are waiting to be helped. Parker said the seminar will offer quick tips and tips that are not so obvious to the customer.
According to Parker, cashiers use certain types of markers as a tool of detection, and the color of the mark will indicate the authenticity of a bill. Parker said other helpful tips are looking at the security strip and the portrait image next to the face on the bill.
Parker said the seminar also plays another vital role in the attempt to stop counterfeit-bill circulation.
“It will make those who are trying to pass by counterfeit money aware that we are looking for them,” Parker said.
Parker said the seminar probably will not take more than an hour, unless there are a lot of questions from the audience.