LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Two visitors from Argentina were arrested after trying to pass-off counterfeit hundreds and fifties at Walt Disney World.
When it comes to cash, it's sometimes tough to spot a fake. Just ask tourists on International Drive, like Brian Morey, vacationing here from Wisconsin.
Would you know how it felt? How it looked? What the difference would be?
“I probably would not. The counterfeit ones are thicker, I thought? I'm not sure,” Morey replied.
So what happens if you get caught with a fake bill in your wallet? How do you even spot one to begin with? Don't worry, Uncle Sam has the answers. Right off the bat, counterfeiting is a federal crime. Anyone caught knowingly passing off fake bills will be investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.
If you accidentally pass a fake bill you might not face charges, but you may have to answer a lot of questions.
The Secret Service Orlando office tells us it’s most important to take a look at cash you get in change. On their website, they show detailed pictures of U.S. bills, from fives to hundreds, with specific things to watch out for.
Overall their basic advice is to look for: watermarks when you hold the bill up to the light; ink that changes color from copper to green when you look from an angle; and a security strip running inside it from top to bottom.
Orlando gets millions of tourists each year, and lots of money changes hands. We found some overseas visitors, like Tony Hunter, who protect themselves by leaving the cash behind.
“Always use a card we get,” Hunter says, “you put the local currency on a debit card. We always use the debit card everywhere we go.”
Like U.S. cash, Hunter he says he can at least spot fake Sterling.
“There's watermarks, silver strips through them, and if you rub it on paper it leaves a mark because the ink never dries."
If a person discovers a fake bill, the secret service says to touch it as little as possible, and store it in a Ziploc bag. Their website, www.secretservice.gov, has a special form to fill-out to report the fake to investigators.