Pens helping stores detect counterfeits

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | 8:01 p.m. CST; updated 5:57 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA-To combat the continuing use of counterfeit currency, Columbia police are urging area businesses to take an inexpensive step: buy $3 counterfeit money detector pens.

The pens, available at office supply stores, reveal with one, quick mark whether a bill is real, according to a news release from the Police Department. Yellow means the bill is good; black means it’s not.


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There hasn’t been a rise in the use of fake money, according to the department’s community services unit. Most counterfeit bills are accepted because “sometimes clerks are inexperienced” or the store is so busy the clerk doesn’t take a second look, Columbia police Officer Jessie Pitman said.

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