Organizers for the Greek Festival in St. Louis say fifteen counterfeit $20 bills were passed during the festival. Organizers have no way of knowing who passed the phony money or when. The bad bills weren't discovered until Sunday, when all of the money was lumped together to be counted. The festival will likely be out the $300.
A Dairy Queen in Columbia, Illinois says that it discovered two, $20 counterfeit bills were passed at the store within a month's time. The owner has now instructed the cashiers to check all bills $20 or more closely.
Wednesday, I have an interview scheduled with the U.S. Secret Service office in St. Louis.
In the meantime, I've found some information from the U.S. Secret Service that may be helpful.
Does the money feels odd? Does if feel thinner or thicker than it usually would? Look for the blue and red fibers woven into the paper.
Hold the bill up to the light and look for the water marks. The water marking should match up to the denomination. For example, the five dollar bill in my wallet when held up to the light reveals Abe Lincolns image marked lightly into the paper.
Last month, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department seized at least four counterfeit $100 bills that were passed through area stores. The bills were actually five dollar bills, bleached and reprinted to look like hundred dollar bills. The water marking on the $100 bill read $5.
Read more about how to detect counterfeit money here.