By John Meng, News Editor Anyone Jackson County residents or businesses coming into contact with money containing pink Chinese letters or symbols should beware — it’s not real currency. I
n addition to the “traditional” counterfeit bills that occasionally find their way into local cash registers, there are now bills bearing Chinese characters which are popping up all across the country, including Jackson County. The Edna Police Department recently issued an online statement that several of these fake $100 bills were circulated in the vicinity of McDonald’s on N. Wells St.
These ‘Far East Frauds’ typically contain distinctive red or pink symbols and lettering, either on one or both sides.
Edna Police Chief Clinton Wooldridge said, “It’s a racket. These fake bills are available online and at flea markets. Always look closely at the bills you receive and feel them for differences in weight and texture. If you end up with a counterfeit bill, even if it’s from a bank, you’ll be the one out of luck.”
How the money with Chinese characters is infiltrating the American monetary system is unclear, however U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials did recently seize $351,500 worth of counterfeit currency at a facility in Milwaukee, Wis. The currency was in the form of 3,515 $100 bills that was located at an Express Consignment Operations facility in Milwaukee. According to CBP officials, the shipment arrived from Shanghai, China and was destined for a residence in Milwaukee.
Reports indicate that the currency originates in China, where it is printed for training purposes. Chinese bank clerks allegedly use it to help them learn how to count and identify authentic American currency that often comes their way due to being passed or exchanged by business and leisure travelers to their country.
According to several law enforcement agencies, the bogus bills are supposed to remain within banks in China. But the counterfeit money is said to be available on Internet sites offering it for sale as little as $1.97 for five $100 bills.
Wooldridge advises that anyone who receives a $100 bill as payment should closely inspect the bill and contact the police department if they suspect it’s counterfeit.