CHICAGO, IL. (FOXNEWS) – Everybody knows that it’s Abraham Lincoln’s face on our five dollar bills, but here at the Abraham Lincoln elementary school in East Chicago Indiana, it was Benjamin Franklin’s face that made some headlines last year.
A first grader showed up with a bunch of counterfeit hundred dollar bills, six fake Benjamin Franklins. The youngster who showed up told investigators his mother kept a bag of the counterfeits in a closet at home.
But he’s not the only child passing off bad bills. On Chicago’s west side.
Yellen; who’s bringing them in? Mostly kids.
And on the south side:
Yellen; so you got 4,5,6 year olds coming in with em?
Big Homie says: that’s basically the age, like they send a younger crowd; they don’t send an older crowd like I used to be. so its different now.
Owners of small convenience stores tell us that they’ve noticed a new trend. Children showing up with counterfeit cash.
Khan says: It started from last December. Where you can see, a lot of bills, have been twenty dollars, five dollars one dollars.
Yellen; how old are the children that are passing these?
Khan says: Age of seven to 12.
They’ve notice another trend too.
Sayed says: hundreds not too much, just ten and five..
Khan says: before we used to see big bills, like twenty dollars, and ten dollars, recently we’ve come across we see ten dollars and 5 dollars counterfeit.
That’s right. A few years ago, they say they were seeing lots of phony hundreds, many produced by what’s called bleaching –using common household cleansers to scrub the ink off of five dollar bills. Then the paper was used to print hundred dollars bills. The phonies could be detected by checking the watermarks…if a Ben Franklin hundred had an Abe Lincoln watermark, the bill was a bleached five dollar bill. Now, they’re seeing smaller bills, ones, fives, tens. Twenties..not printed on bleached bills, but with regular paper, probably on home computers. Sometimes they’re easy to spot.
Khan says: the back has got two layers. Right here. it’s got two layers.
Salaymeh says: If you raise it up, you cannot see this five over here inside. If you can’t see it, that’s when it’s fake.
But the smaller bills are bills are so common, many stores typically don’t have the time to check em. They seem to be turning up in areas frequented by gangs…one owner speculated that older gang members might be doing the counterfeiting and using juveniles, the younger gang members. To launder the cash on the streets.
Big Homie says: A young boy comes in the store, you won’t look at a younger boy, versus how you look at an older person., you know what I’m saying, so it’s able to get away with it more. You get what I mean.