Police: Counterfeit money making its way around ND cities

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Authorities in two North Dakota cities are reporting a sudden uptick in the use of counterfeit bills.

In Fargo, Sgt. Carlos Nestler told The Forum funny money (anything from $5 to $100 bills) have been popping up in the city for the past month or so. An official told the paper they're not sure whether all or some of the instances are connected.

Meanwhile, 100 miles west, police in Jamestown say they've gotten five reports of funny money being used at local businesses recently, all using either, $5, $50 or $100 dollar bills, Valley News Live reports.

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It's been a problem recently.

A couple weeks ago, police did arrest a man suspected of using fake bills in Fargo, KFGO reported. They said at the time that counterfeit cash had been spotted in West Fargo, Moorhead and Wahpeton as well.

In fact, police had warned about such a scam nearly a month ago, the Wahpeton Daily News said when the fakes first started being used more.

Fake cash: How much is out there?

There's a decent amount of funny money floating around.

In 2013, $88.7 million in counterfeit currency was recovered in the United States, Bloomberg reported.

Though the amount of money actually in circulation is staggering. As of March 11, the Federal Reserve had it pinned at $1.31 trillion in actual notes. So the percentage of fakes actually appears to be pretty low.

The Federal Reserve tries to stay ahead of counterfeiters by introducing new versions of bills with added security features. Check out CNN's rundown of the enhanced $100 bill introduced in 2013.

The Secret Service details ways to quickly spot counterfeit cash, including checking the portraits, the point son the seals, and more. Here's one example:

If you suspect you may have gotten passed a fake bill, here's what the service says to do.

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