Money-laundering usually is associated with attempts to make ill-gotten cash appear legitimate.
However, counterfeiters are literally washing $5 bills to make them look like C-notes.
A Thomasville business recently received one of the altered bills.
A pen used to mark bills to test for authenticity showed the bill was legitimate. It was a U.S. Treasury note, but not worth the value depicted.
“They basically wash off the ink from a $5 bill,” said Louis Schofill, a Thomasville Police Department detective.
Schofill said bleach is used in the washing, but he declined to divulge details of the process for public dissemination.
After washing away $5 markings, the appearance of a $100 bill is transposed on top of the bill.
If the bill is held to the light, $5 markings will be visible underneath the $100 appearance.
Schofill said merchants are reminded to be aware of the presence of bogus bills, particularly during the Christmas shopping season.
Merchants should obtain as much information as possible from the person passing the bill, including where they obtained the money.
Anyone who receives a counterfeit bill should call dispatch at 226-2101 or police at 227-3249.