Counterfeit $100 Bill Discovery on the Rise, Especially in the West Suburbs

In the past year-and-a-half, counterfeit $100 bills have been appearing more commonly in the west suburbs of Chicago — the nearest incident to Arlington Heights on Rohlwing Road in Addison.

July 14, 2007 — A 19-year-old Naperville teen is found with counterfeit $100 bills after police responded to a call of a suspicious person in a car near the intersection of Clearwater Lane and Snapjack Circle.

July 6, 2007 — Two Chicago men are arrested and charged for passing a counterfeit $100 at Walgreens, 688 Amersale Drive, Naperville. Also suspects for fake bills passed at Babies ‘R’ Us and Office Depot earlier that week.

June 25, 2007 — Two counterfeit $100 bills are passed at Sears in Charlestown Mall, 3800 E. Main St., St. Charles.

June 17, 2007 — Counterfeit $100 bills at Sears in Charlestown Mall receives.

March 21, 2007 — A Chicago man and woman are arrested in Addison after passing three counterfeit $100 bills at Wal-Mart, 1050 N. Rohlwing Road.

Feb. 14, 2007 — A 20-year-old man from Bristol, Illinois arrested after using a counterfeit $100 at a gas station in Aurora.

Nov. 5, 2006 — A counterfeit $100 bill is appears at the Holiday Inn in Morris, Illinois.

Feb. 18, 2006 — A counterfeit $100 included in store payment for $160 worth of merchandise in an Aurora store.

The most recent counterfeiting scam passing through the area is phony $100 bills printed on washed $5 bills.

A quick swipe of a counterfeit detector pen shows the money as legitimate — the pen misses the counterfeit.

Check the $100 bill texture. Real hundreds have tiny ridges and a thicker texture; they’re not smooth like normal paper.

Ben Franklin’s face should have a real, 3D look.

One-hundred dollar bills have built-in security features: the magnetic strip and the water mark, a ghostly image of Franklin to the right of his obvious portrait (you have to hold the bill up to backlighting to see).

Banks use counterfeit-bill pens that many retail stores keep at their registers, but the pens miss some counterfeits and also give some false positives on older bills.