Bad checks and counterfeit bills

Business Watch monthly newsletter | Maple Valley Police Department | October

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, October 17, 2014 2:31pm
  • Business

A check is not cash, but an “IOU” or promise that cash will be paid upon presentation of the check at the writer’s bank. A check is bad when it cannot be redeemed for cash. Establish a firm check-cashing policy and post it where it can be easily read by customers and referred to by employees. This policy should specify your acceptance criteria concerning the following information.

• Amount of check – limit the amount a check may be written or limit it to the amount of purchase; require management approval for any check written in excess of a set dollar amount.
• Two-party checks have a higher incidence of unreliability and can be more difficult to collect.
• Local versus out-of-state checks – local check writers is easier to contact for collection. Washington courts cannot prosecute out-of-state check writers unless they can be contacted within our state.
• Identification – the primary identification for collection purposes is a driver’s license or special identification card issued by the state.
• Other limits – Specify any other limits so they will be clearly understood by customers and employees.
• Returned check fee – collect a returned check processing fee of up to $35. All checks should accurately reflect the name, address (mailing and physical), driver’s license or valid identification number and home and work phone numbers of the check writer. If this information is not accurately recorded on the check, the employee should write it clearly on the check.

The following items should also be considered when accepting a check:

• make sure name, picture (or description) and signature match the check writer’s identification• written and numerical amounts agree
• correct date (not postdated)
• any erasures, alterations, or abnormalities• low check number (new accounts can be less reliable)

COUNTERFEIT BILLS – the three basic types of counterfeit bills are:
• low denomination bills altered to appear higher (corners of large bills glued to small bills)
• photocopies of authentic bills , and
• printed counterfeit bills.

Inspect all bills, especially larger ones, for appropriate portraits.
• Compare them to known bills of the same denomination.
• Look for differences, not similarities.
• Counterfeits will be less detailed and have a flat appearance, appearing washed out. Authentic bills are always printed on safety paper with fine red and blue hair-like fibers imbedded in them. Do not be fooled by colored lines printed on paper.

Consider purchasing an inexpensive counterfeit detector marker. Simply write on any standard U.S. currency to detect a counterfeit bill.
• Ink marked on a counterfeit bill will change from golden brown to blue-black. An authentic bill will not produce an ink color change.
• Reacts to the presence of a key ingredient present in papers that are not used by the U.S. Treasury.
• Effective on all U.S. currency including “new design” bills.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A heatmap showing the inclusivity of each state, which is based on the total Business Climate Score. The green states are the most inclusive, while the red are least inclusive; yellow and orange fall in the middle. Courtesy of Out Leadership.
Washington ranks 13th in State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index

Washington’s lowest score was 13 out of 20 points in the Work Environment and Employment section.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Volatility and disciplined planning in 2022’s stock market | Guest column

The stock market in January experienced significantly increased volatility. In the first… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino. Courtesy photo
Kirkland-based company sues to challenge ‘tribal gaming monopoly’ in Washington

Company called the state’s policy an “erroneous application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The forces behind our current COVID-induced inflation | Guest column

Recent inflation numbers have been quite high and at levels not seen… Continue reading

Best of Covington 2021 winners announced

Categories range from People, Restaurants, Services and Shopping.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
The ‘year end’ elements of financial planning | Guest column

With the end of the year fast approaching, we remind clients that… Continue reading

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

Nana’s Southern Kitchen opens Covington location

Restaurant started in Kent in 2019

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.