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Bogus $20 bills popping up

APD Detective Darrell Laster points out features used to identify a counterfeit bill during a news conference at the Albany Law Enforcement Center Wednesday.

APD Detective Darrell Laster points out features used to identify a counterfeit bill during a news conference at the Albany Law Enforcement Center Wednesday.

ALBANY -- Five merchants from west to south Albany reported finding bogus $20 bills in their cash drawers Tuesday, according to Albany Police Department reports.

The bills have turned up at Ruby Tuesday restaurant, Jaxx Liquor Store, Flash Foods McDonalds and the Carmike Theater from about 3:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

"We have diligently been looking at suspects," said Detective Darrell Laster. "No arrests have been made at this point."

Laster said about $200 had been passed Tuesday, along with other cases they are investigating. Because the Tuesday bogus bills were passed in a relatively short period of time and within easy driving proximity, investigators are looking for connections between the people who passed the bills.

"We have a video we are processing," Laster said. "We might have something from that."

The best way, authorities said, to avoid becoming a victim of forgery is to take a minute to examine the bill. People shouldn't rely on the pens used to mark bills to see if they are not real.

Looking down at a $20 or $50 bill lying face-up, the ink on the right hand corner will appear copper-colored. Move the bill, and the color should shift to green. If it doesn't, don't take the bill.

On the $100 bill, the ink of a real bill will shift color from green to black. All Federal Reserve Notes, the official name for paper money, printed since 1990 are printed on paper featuring red and blue embedded fibers.

More information is available at the websites secretservice.gov or moneyfactory.gov.