The city of Osceola benefits greatly from being positioned at the junction of I35, Highway 34 and a bustling commuter and industrial railway. It allows exposure to travelers stopping by for gas, a bite to eat or to take advantage of any of the great Osceola amenities. Unfortunately, this access also makes city merchants susceptible to an increased chance of encountering counterfeit cash.
Amy Lampe, Chief Financial Officer of Clarke County State Bank states, “As we slide into the summer months and look forward to increased visitor traffic, vacation travelers and more, it’s important for businesses and individuals to be vigilant when handling all kinds of cash. While, recently, it hasn’t been an issue in Osceola, reports of counterfeit bills being passed in Des Moines means there’s a greater possibility of increased local activity.”
“Counterfeit activity has increased steadily nationwide over the past 10 to 12 years,” says Marty Duffus, Osceola Police Chief. “With our prominent access, Osceola becomes a significant target for transient criminals. It’s up to our businesses and our citizens to stay vigilant.”
According to the U.S. Treasury website, checking your currency authenticity can be as easy as “Feel, Tilt and Check.”
- FEEL: Authentic U.S. money will have a unique feel to it. If the paper feels too smooth, too thick or thin, too soft or too stiff, trust your sense of touch and check for other security features.
- TILT: By tilting the bill back and forth, you can check for color-shifting ink on $10 bills and higher.
- CHECK: Hold the bill up to the light – genuine currency will show a watermark of the bill’s portrait off to the side and should be visible from both sides. A security thread running vertically through the paper can also be seen when held to the light.
As a business owner or a customer, you can also purchase counterfeit-detecting pens at your local office supply store. These pens are designed to react with the starch in wood-based paper, changing color or creating a black stain. There will be no discoloration when applied to the fiber-based paper of authentic bills.
Dave Selene, President of Clarke County State Bank states, “When counterfeit bills infiltrate a community, everyone loses. Whether it’s the businesses taking it in, the customer receiving it in change, or even the bank accepting it as a deposit, any one of these recipients are apt to lose the value of the counterfeit currency. It’s up to citizens and businesses alike to be aware and stop this potential loss.”