Multiple Nebraska financial institutions have reported instances of individuals attempting to cash counterfeit U.S. Savings Bonds. The U.S. Secret Service urges bankers to carefully examine all bonds presented at their bank.
The counterfeit bonds differ from authentic bonds in several ways but may be difficult to identify for those unfamiliar with savings bonds. An out-of-state bank that recently experienced a loss due to counterfeit bonds shared the following characteristics to be aware of. The bonds are Series EE Bonds with $5,000 and $10,000 denominations and have duplicate bond numbers with different issue dates. A notable difference includes a black border around the bond's outer edge and denomination, which bleeds blue or green due to being printed on an inkjet printer, and a pale yellow or pale peach background color, which differs from the rich peach color of authentic bonds. The counterfeit bonds feel rough and textured, with visible ink and grain, while authentic bonds are completely smooth with no texture. The U.S. Treasury seal on counterfeit bonds is blurry with unclear emblem lines, and the microprinting in the SSN box border that says USBONDS is blurry with incorrect spacing.
To prevent losses due to counterfeit or previously cashed bonds, bank may choose to decline cashing savings bonds or limit the amount they will cash for a customer in a single transaction. The U.S. Secret Service recommends cashing bonds only for established customers. For more information, see the U.S. Treasury Department's Guide to Cashing U.S. Savings Bonds.
If you come across a counterfeit savings bond at your ban, please contact the U.S. Secret Service in Omaha at OMA.Duty@usss.dhs.gov or 402-474-1555.