Counterfeit bill shows up at yard sale

Counterfeit bill shows up at yard sale

Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A West Valley City woman thought she made a good deal when she sold a Nintendo Game Cube, several games and two bags of clothing to a woman this weekend for $50. It turns out, she'd been duped.

Natalie Zahne said there were a lot of people at her yard sale Saturday when the woman bartered her down for the items, handed her a $50 bill and left.

"She was a little nervous," Zahne said.

She believes the woman knew the bill was a fake and was in a hurry to get out of there once the deal was made.

**How to identify counterfeit money**
![]( )• **Look and Feel**: U.S. paper money is printed on special paper that's 75% cotton and 25% linen giving it a distinct stiffness. Red and blue fibers are also embedded in the paper. A high-quality printing process called "intaglio" leaves ink on top of the paper, giving the money a distinctive texture and creates sharp, clear lines. • **Color shifting ink**: Bank notes bigger than the $5 use color-shifting ink to print the denomination in the lower-right-hand corner. The colors will shift (copper-to-green or green-to-black) when looking head-on, then from an angle. ![](• **Watermark**: All bills bigger than a $2 now have a watermark. For the $10, $20, $50, and $100, the image, seen when held up to the light, matches the portrait. The same applies to the old $5, but the new $5 has a big numeral 5. The watermark is part of the paper and is visible from the rear of the note as well. ![](• **Security Thread**: All bills bigger than $2 have a security thread running vertically through them. Like the watermark, you hold the bill up to the light to see it. The thread has text with the bill's denomination and an image that is unique to that denomination. The different denominations have the threads in different places. *- [](*
"I thought about holding it up to the light," Zahne said, "But I thought no that's kind of an insult, because I didn't want her to think I thought she was scamming me. The irony, though, was that she did."

Later on, when she reached into her pocket and pulled out the bill, Zahne said it neither felt nor looked right. She took it to a nearby convenience store to compare and realized almost immediately it was a fake.

"We kind of checked it up to the light, and there was no magnetic strip," she said. "The paper, when we looked really close, we couldn't see the detail blue and red threads."

Zahne has since done some research and found that similar cases have turned up in Colorado and Arizona.

Salt Lake County sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson said he hadn't heard of any such cases in the county's jurisdiction, but he said it would make sense for a crook to try to pass off a fake bill on someone who may not be as on guard for fake bills.

Zahne planned to check local websites to see if any of the items the woman bought show up for sale.


Related links

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Marc Giauque


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast