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GFPD: counterfeit $50 bills are being passed in Great Falls

GFPD: counterfeit $50 bills are being passed in Great Falls
Posted at 9:48 AM, Feb 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-06 11:54:35-05

GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Police Department is warning that counterfeit money is circulating in our community, and shared the following information in a Facebook post:

COUNTERFEITS ON THE LOOSE! We have taken several reports of counterfeit $50 bills that have made their way into our local commerce. Please pay attention!


  • Hold bill up to a light - see security strip to the right of President Grant's head. The strip should read "USA 50", these fakes read "USA 5" (image 1)
  • If the security strip is not visible when held up to a light, or if it is visible without a light, the bill is fake (image 1)
  • The "50" in the right hand corner of the front of the bill is made with color shifting ink and will change colors when moved around under a light (image 2)
  • Hold bill up to a light - a watermark of Grant will appear on the right side of the front of the bill (image 3)
  • We have seized a few bills that have the back (capital building) upside down, both sides should be positioned upright (see comments for a video demonstration)
  • A counterfeit pen will not detect these fake bills as the paper used is real currency paper
  • We have also seen a few fake $50 bills that have "COPY MONEY" printed on them


  • Stay calm and do not announce that you may have a bad bill
  • Perform the security checks mentioned above
  • If you think you are being presented a fake bill keep it and discreetly call 911, or have a coworker do it
  • Stall by getting change from another register
  • Ask for ID, then (SUPER IMPORTANT) have them lower their mask and compare the picture to the person to ensure it is the same person
  • Get a copy or photo of the ID or write down the full name and date of birth
  • Do not put yourself, or anyone else, in harm's way by attempting to detain a suspect or prevent them from leaving