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New $20 bill stymies many counterfeiters

Feb. 23, 2004 at 9:51 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Early reports on the new color-filled U.S. $20 bill indicate many counterfeiters are having a tough time faking it, the Secret Service says.

In the first four months, more than $1 million in fake new $20s were accepted by businesses and later detected, USA Today reported Monday. That's more than five times the $192,000 passed and caught in the same period after the 1998 redesign.

More money caught suggests the new bill is easier to spot. The new 20s have shades of green, peach and blue along with security features including a watermark, color-shifting ink and a security thread.

Not everybody has been thwarted in copying the new bill, but police say a rush of fake 20s after the bills were introduced in October seems to have died down.

"There's no such thing as a counterfeit-proof bank note," says Bruce Townsend, deputy assistant director at the Secret Service's office of investigations.

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