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Cash...is it real or is it fake?

8/10/17 (Thu)

Remember how we would protect our cash? When I was young and traveling I hid it in my socks. My parents used Travelers Checks to protect their cash, because they were replaceable. That was until credit cards came along. In those days, making fake money only happened in the movies.

At the Office of the State Treasurer we are vigilant to check all cash that funnels through our office. As many of you know and understand, the Treasurer’s office is very much like the bank teller at your local bank. Our agency collects checks and cash deposits from all agencies in the state; we then deposit it in the Bank of North Dakota. We keep a close eye out for fake bills and fraudulent checks. With advances in desktop publishing and laser printer technology, creating fake money or checks has become easier and easier.

I have been following several news stories from across the state and we have discussed it internally. The trend was once large bills, now we hear reports of $10, $5 and $20 bills. To date, the Office of the State Treasurer has not received any of this fake cash. These bills look very real, so much so that it actually was used to buy lottery tickets in an ATM type machine.

As your State Treasurer, it is my responsibility to do everything possible to protect our state funds from fraud. I also want to gently remind you to take a few extra moments when using cash, look and feel those bills. You can spot fake bills if you take the time. This batch of fake money recently circulating was five and ten dollar bills purchased on the internet and actually looked similar to monopoly money but was the actual size and weight of green dollars. When asking for cash at your financial institution, ask the teller to look very closely at the money to ensure it is real. When using cash for purchases, take a few extra seconds to look at the change being returned to you. As we gear up for back to school shopping or taking our last summer trip, my hope for you is that your finances remain secure and authentic. We all can stop fraud if we just slow down, and pay attention.

To learn more visit our website at www.nd.gov/treasurer to find financial literacy resources and detailed fiscal information regarding our State. Be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for current information relating to your dollars and our office.