How to spot a counterfeit bill

NEW YORK -- The most counterfeited bill in the country is the $20 and if you ever wound up with a bad one it's a bummer. One woman says she lost a hundred and and we'll show you how hard it is to see the fake.

Anne Zephirin's in shock after she says she wound up with a counterfeit hundred from her own bank.

Anne says she got the bogus bill at an Astoria Bank in Brooklyn last month. She withdrew $2,800 from the teller for her niece, but when she tried to buy a Metro Card with one of those hundreds, she was told it was no good.

Anne took the bad bill back to the same bank teller, she says a one hundred dollar bill kept getting clogged in the counting machine when she took the money out.

Anne's note was turned over to the U.S. Secret Service. Secret Service Special Agent Mike Seremetis and the head of the counterfeit unit see thousands of phonies floating around, and say even banks can be fooled by the counterfeiting criminals.

To avoid accepting a fake, first feel it. Fake money is thicker and its print is raised higher. Next, take a good look.

Look for color-shifting ink. On an authentic hundred, the liberty bell changes color. But on Anne's bogus bill it stays brown, the security strip here should also change.

And check out the obvious. One counterfeit $50 has Alexander Hamilton's face on it. Only problem, Hamilton is on the $10. The counterfeiter used a $10, left his face on the bill, but bleached out $10 and put in $50. The real $50 features President Grant.

The Secret Service reminds, since even banks can be fooled,never walk out with any money you suspect is funny.

Astoria Bank said it could not refund the hundred since Anne left and came back. They have no way of verifying if the bill she returned was one she got from the bank.

You should always ask for money to be run through counterfeit detector. The last time we had a similar story a different bank issued a refund, but that's a rare courtesy. The U.S. Secret Service says it's currently looking into the bank and the teller in question as part of their investigation.

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