Elkhart police say stopping counterfeiters just requires attention

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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Elkhart police are looking for two suspects in a counterfeiting case.

It is a bit of a different crime for police to look at, since they say counterfeiting in the city of Elkhart really doesn't happen all that often. However, that doesn't mean people don't try to pass off fake money.

"There's a phenomenon that we've been seeing in the last couple years of Hollywood money," Elkhart Police Lt. Travis Snider said. "I believe it stems from actual Hollywood and it's used for prop money."

Hollywood money is actually not considered counterfeit. It's still illegal, though, on the same level as theft. True counterfeit happens when someone tries to recreate a piece of currency.

With both Hollywood money and counterfeit money, there's going to be something clearly wrong with the bill. Hollywood money's differences are pretty easy to see if you just take a look at it.

"It does not look real," Snider said. "So, it doesn't have a U.S. president on it, doesn't say the United States of America, but you'll see something really close to that, and there will kind of be a picture that kind of looks sometimes close to the president."

Counterfeit money, on the other hand, may look legitimate for the most part, but no matter how good the printer is, it won't feel right.

"Another phenomenon that we've seen is washing money and reprinting it as a different currency, but those are usually discolored," Snider said. "So, for the average person out there that retrieves money or exchanges money, they want to look at the texture of money. Because if you think about it, the money you've touched over your life feels a certain way. Counterfeit money will feel a different way."

No matter what way it's done, it's really easy to find if you just pay attention.

"Just look at it, feel it, and then if you can, hold it up to a light and look for those marks," Snider said.

You always need to pay attention. Police say counterfeiting normally happens during busy times of day and at places like gas stations and grocery stores, so be on the lookout.

Elkhart police say counterfeiting cases really started to decline with the rise of credit and debit cards, but it still happens. Snider says the Elkhart Police Department gets training from the Secret Service to learn how to best combat counterfeiting. They'll continue to train going forward in the fight against counterfeiting.