Counterfeit bills surface in cityPublished 12:04pm Thursday, December 6, 2012
Check your wallets – Alexander City police reported yesterday that counterfeit money has been making its way through the city.
“Our current complainants are restaurants and fast food locations, but this could happen at any business,” said Lt. Randy Walters, public information officer with ACPD. “We usually get one or two a year, but this has been an unusual spike.”
Walters advised local business owners to use a marking pen on all high bills, which will show whether a bill is counterfeit.
“Look at the bill, and if you don’t see the metal strip inside of it, don’t accept it,” Walters said. “If any of the words appear fuzzy, don’t accept it. Consider it a suspicious bill and contact local law enforcement.”
Lt. Jay Turner said that in addition to conducting a local investigation, the department will turn the matter over to the federal government as well.
“We will investigate it and attempt to find out who are passing these bills here, but we also turn this over to the Secret Service,” Turner said. “A lot of times, bills with the same serial numbers will be getting passed around not only here, but all over the United States.”
Turner explained that many counterfeiters use copy machines, which gives the fake bills a distinctly different feel.
“You can tell the difference between the cotton in a real $20 bill and this copy paper,” Turner said.
There have been five reported incidents since Monday Turner said. Individuals that knowingly pass a counterfeit bill will be charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, second degree, which is Class C felony.
Walters said that anyone who discovers a counterfeit bill or one believed to be counterfeit should contact law enforcement. Walters added that a description of the individual that attempted to use the bill would be useful.
“(The individual) may be innocent, but it might help us back to the suspect,” Walters said.
The main phone number for ACPD can be reached by dialing 256-397-1023. The ACPD detective division can be reached directly at 256-329-6754.