A process called "washing" is being used to create fake $100 bills.
The Wilmington Police Department is urging businesses and residents to be on the lookout for counterfeit money. Some counterfeiters are going as far to make money look older, to try and get it passed more unwitting people.
Recently, a local business called to advise they were "possibly in possession" of a counterfeit $100 bill. The bill was used by a customer to pay for services rendered by the company. Upon first glance, the bill appears to be real. Closer inspection, however, showed the bill was in fact counterfeit.
One of the problems with "washed" money is that a counterfeit detector pen will not display this as a counterfeit. The reason for this is the pen contains an iodine solution that reacts with the starch in wood-based paper to create a black stain. When the solution is applied to the fiber-based paper used in real bills, no discoloration occurs.
The pen does nothing but detect bills printed on normal copier paper instead of the fine papers used by the U.S. Treasury. Since this counterfeit currency is still printed on fiber-based paper, the pen will not create the stain mark.