GREENSBORO, N.C. - Real or fake?
Counterfeit money is a big problem across the nation.
The U.S. Secret Service says counterfeit cash reports increase during the holiday season.
Greensboro police have already seen 140 fake cash reports so far this year.
"We see a lot of it," said Detective Robert Mensel. "Technology has become more available now where you can easily produce counterfeit money with just a printer or a laptop."
You can help prevent the spread of fake cash if you know how to spot it.
"You should look for duplicate serial numbers," said Detective Mensel. "You should also look for the texture of a counterfeit note as compared to a real note."
No bill has the same serial number.
Police say you should also check for the security thread.
If the cash is real, you'll see a security line on the left side of the 20 dollar bill when you hold it up to the light.
The U.S. Secret Service is the lead agency in tackling counterfeit cash.
Agents say your best bet is to know your money and don't solely rely on counterfeit detector devices.
"It's a high community impact crime," said Assistant Special Agent Matthew Quinn. "It affects people's pocketbooks maybe more so in some cases than credit card fraud."
The U.S. Secret Service wants people to take the time to learn about money to avoid becoming a victim.
Police say you should also know who you are dealing with and deal with people that you trust.