State police say that they discovered a New York man attempting to spend fake $100 bills. Could the money in your wallet actually be fake?

Troopers have announced the arrest of Anthony J. Fenton who they say was in possession of six phony bills. Fenton has been charged with a felony for Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the first degree.

It's unknown just how many bills were spent before police say they discovered the fakes. The idea that the money in your wallet may actually be worthless is enough to make anyone feel a little queasy.

NYS Police
NYS Police
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How to tell if your $100 bill is real or fake

While fake bills are getting more and more realistic looking, experts say that there are some telltale signs of a fake. In order to combat counterfeiters, the U.S. Treasury has implemented security features such as watermarks, plastic strips and color-shifting ink. According to Cornell University, there are several ways you can make sure your bills are the real thing.

Get a strong magnet

Not many people realize it, but the ink used on currency is slightly magnetic. While it won't stick to a refrigerator or respond to any old magnet, a high-powered magnet like a neodymium magnet will slightly cling to a real bill. While it won't lift the bill completely off of a table, you will be able to tell that it's real.

Canva
Canva
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Feel it

Anyone who's spent time dealing with currency knows a genuine bill when they touch one. The paper used to make real money is a closely guarded secret. The threaded material isn't like any other commercially available paper. If you're holding a bill and it just doesn't "feel right" that should be a red flag.

Compare it to another bill

Cornell University suggests that if you're uncertain if a bill is real or not, to hold it up against another bill of the same denomination. Any small inconsistencies that you may not have noticed before will become immediately apparent when matched up with the real thing.

Unsplash/Colin Watts
Unsplash/Colin Watts
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Look closely

There are a few telltale signs that a bill is fake if you look closely enough. By examining the paper you'll discover that a real bill has tiny blue and red fibers running through it. These appear in all genuine bills and are hard to reproduce. It's also important to examine the printing. Real money, especially new bills, will have raised ink that you can see and feel. The ink will also shimmer when moved in the light, something that most forgeries can't mimic.

If you do discover a fake bill, you should immediately contact the local authorities. Being in possession of fake currency is a crime, so the sooner you tell the police the better.

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