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Secret Service warns of big spike in counterfeit money circulating around El Paso

The U.S. Secret Service issued a warning Tuesday to businesses and residents throughout the Borderland about a significant rise in counterfeit money circulating in the region.

“Currently the El Paso regional area is being hit hard,” read a statement jointly issued by the Secret Service and local authorities. No reason was given for the spike in counterfeiting activity.

The last time authorities issued a warning for El Pasoans to check their bills was during the holiday shopping season in December 2017 when a similar increase in counterfeiting was detected.

The counterfeit money is currently being passed around in denominations of $100, $50 and $20 bills, with some of it being fake money that has been used on movie sets.

Officials offered these tips on what you should look for to spot fake currency currently being passed in the El Paso area:

The front of the bills have foreign writing such as Chinese or Russian. The fake bills also don’t show a security thread when held up to the light. Another telltale sign are bills containing the words “for motion picture use only” or simply “replica”

If anyone observes fake bills being passed, authorities urge you to immediately contact El Paso police at 915-832-4400, and anonymous reports about the making of counterfeit currency can be called into Crime Stoppers at 915-566-TIPS.

Crime Stoppers also has an online guide available with details on how to ensure money is authentic and not fake at



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