(BIVN) – Officials are warning Hawaiʻi island residents about an apparent uptick in the use of counterfeit U.S. currency on the Big Island.
From the Hawaiʻi Police Department:
Hawai‘i Police Department is warning the public about the recent usage of counterfeit U.S. currency in transactions across the island. Within the past three months, more than 14 separate investigations have been initiated islandwide involving the use of counterfeit bills ranging in denominations from $5 dollar to $100 bills. The counterfeit bills were presented to both private individuals and to retail employees in exchange for monetary goods or services.
In many instances, the counterfeit bills have markings indicating that the bill is “prop” money with writing such as “for motion picture purposes”, “this note is for motion picture purposes it is not legal tender”, “motion picture purposes”, and “in props we trust” on either the front or the back of the bill.
The printing of counterfeit bills and the usage of counterfeit bills to obtain goods or services is prohibited under both state and federal law and are felony offenses punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and monetary fines.
The Hawai‘i Police Department encourages the public and retail employees to thoroughly inspect all U.S. currency and to notify police if they come across fraudulent bills in order to prevent the monetary loss of goods or services. Taking note of individual characteristics of the person presenting the counterfeit bill along with their behavior patterns may assist law enforcement in identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting suspects.
People can also protect themselves against falling susceptible to counterfeit bills by learning about the different security features of denominations of U.S. currency at The Seven Denominations | U.S. Currency Education Program. If you’ve fallen victim to counterfeit bills, please contact the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.