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BOZEMAN — Secret Service agents are investigating numerous cases of people passing counterfeit $100 bills that pass the "pen test."

"Most of the larger towns in the state have seen activity," said agent Brian Busony of Billings. "We're definitely in the thousands of dollars that are being passed."

Most of the fake bills began circulating within the last two weeks.

The counterfeit $100 bills replicate the newest notes in circulation and can't be detected when checked with a special pen that puts an invisible mark on an authentic bill, but puts a mark on a fake bill.

Busony said there are other characteristics of the bills that prove they are fake. They don't have a security strip in the corner, don't have red and blue fibers and don't feel like real money.

The Secret Service has alerted banks and stores throughout the state about the fake currency.

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