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How Can You Tell This $100 Bill Is Fake? (Maybe It's The Pink Chinese Lettering On It)

A Washington woman tried to use the counterfeit bills to purchase a $5,000 pre-paid Visa card, police say. 

By Jill Sederstrom

It may not always be easy to spot fake currency, but in this case, the bright pink Chinese writing was a dead giveaway.

The Des Moines police confiscated multiple fake $100 bills after a woman allegedly tried to use the cash to buy a $5,000 prepaid visa card at a Safeway store in Washington, according to KOMO.

She allegedly attempted to purchase the card with $4,900 worth of fraudulent bills, but the store spotted that the money was fake and called police.

Des Moines police later posted a picture of the bills on Twitter saying not only do American bills have more than one serial number, they also don't have Chinese characters or pink writing.

"Although the counterfeit currency is of fair quality, there are markings on the bills making one realize the funds are not legit," Sgt. Dave Mohr told KOMO.

Police took the money after the attempt to use it, but have not said whether the woman involved was arrested.

"The case will require further investigation," Mohr told the station.

Across the country in Virginia, the Woodstock Police Department also reported receiving a counterfeit $100 bill on Tuesday that appeared to look like the bills in question in Washington.

Woodstock Police said in a statement on Facebook that they're actually Chinese training bills, which are used in China to educate bank tellers about how to handle U.S. currency. The pink writing on it translates to read "Training Money SAMPLE Only For Practice—Circulation Forbidden," they said.

The money can be purchased online for as little as $3 for a stack of 20, they wrote.

They cautioned area business owners to look carefully during any cash transactions and urged businesses to call police if they encounter the counterfeit money.

[Photo: Des Moines Police]

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