Funny money: Counterfeit 100s found in Miles City

Ashley Wise Star Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
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The front and back sides of a counterfeit $100 note found in Miles City are shown in these photos. The bills have been circulating in town, according to a local merchant.

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Merchants beware. Counterfeit money is making its way through Miles City.

According to Gloria Grenz of the 600 Cafe, counterfeit $100 bills have been circulated throughout town.

“We’re just trying to get the word out and warn the merchants,” Grenz said in a phone interview with the Star.

The counterfeit bills feel different than real bills and are not as shiny. They also have different markings like Chinese characters that are usually in a pink color, said Grenz.

Previously the merchants in Miles City used to have an alert system called the Minute Man Alert System.

According to Grenz, this system was used to alert fellow merchants. Each person involved had three people on their list to call which would allow the information to move down the list and throughout town.

The most common way to test a bill is by marking it with a counterfeit bill detector pen.

According to Grenz, if the marker comes back clear it’s a good bill but if it produces a dark mark it’s a bad bill.

According to the Miles City Police Department they haven’t seen much counterfeit activity recently.

“There has been a few cases but not many,” said Doug Colombik, chief of police, in an email to the Star.

According to the federal reserve, the best way to identify if a bill is real is to rely on the security features. Those features include the watermark and security thread.

If a counterfeit bill comes through your store report it to your local police department.

According to the federal reserve, if possible write down the suspect’s license plate number and vehicle description along with their physical characteristics.

(Contact Ashley Wise at or 406-234-0450.)