Local News

Counterfeit Cash Being Passed Around Triangle

Posted October 18, 2002

— Police said counterfeiters have been busy, passing off counterfeit cash across the Triangle.

Officials said more than 4,000 fake bills end up in the area each week.

Last week, Raleigh police said someone spent $200 in fake $20 bills at the AmeriSuites hotel on Wake Forest Road.

Sgt. Gary Hinnant of the Raleigh Police Department said a counterfeit bill can fool just about anyone. High-tech computer printers are making it hard for some people to distinguish the real thing from a fraud.

"They're being received by tellers, cashiers who may not look at them very closely," Hinnant said.

That was the case for gas station cashier Allison Ruffin. She said she was fooled a few months ago when someone paid her with $100 in counterfeit bills.

"It just didn't feel right. I looked at it and it just didn't look right either. It was way to green on the front," she said.

Craig Ulmer, of the United States Secret Service, said it is easy to point out counterfeit money if you

know what to look for

.

He said the color, texture and fine printing on a bill will clue you in. If you are still not sure, Ulmer suggests comparing the questionable bill with the real thing.

"You have to look for the differences, not the similarities," Ulmer said.

Businesses -- or anyone who think they may have received counterfeit cash -- should do the following:

  • Do not return the bill to the person who gave it to you.
  • Delay that person if possible without risking harm.
  • Make note of the person's appearance and car.
  • Write your initials and the date on the bill, but try to avoid touching the bill as much as possible.
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