News & Events

Date and Time of Release: 2 February 2012

Date and Time of Incident: Past Two Days

Subject: Counterfeit $100 Bills

During the past two days the Sonora Police Department has been contacted five times regarding the passing of, or the attempted passing of, counterfeit $100 bills. The bills appear to be acid washed $5 bills with a $100 bill image printed over it. Because the bills are printed on real currency paper, counterfeit pens and markers will show the bill to be good. However, the pens and markers only test the paper and not the content of the bill.

The Sonora Police Department would like to encourage merchants not to rely on the pens and markers alone and to check a few of the security features on the bills. A couple of things you can look for on the new $100 bills are;

Look for a blue ribbon on the front of the bill. Tilt the note back and forth while focusing on the blue ribbon. You will see the bells change to 100’s as they move. When you tilt the bill back and forth, the bells and 100’s move side to side. If you tilt it side to side they move up and down. The ribbon is woven into the paper and not printed on it.

Look for an image of a color shifting bell, inside the copper-colored inkwell on the front of the new $100 bill. Tilt it to see the bell change from copper to green, an effect which makes the bell seem to disappear within the inkwell.

There are several other security features on the new $100 bills and there are also several security features on the older $100 bills as well. You can learn more about the security features by logging onto or to

The person passing the bills is described as a white male adult, with brown hair, approx. 5-10, having a medium build. He normally purchases items of low value and receives a large amount of change. If you have any information on the possible responsible or if you believe you have accepted one of these counterfeit bills, please contact the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.