Investigators Urge You to Learn to Recognize Counterfeit Money

A recent spike in reports of counterfeit bills had law enforcement asking you to report any fake money you see and learn how to recognize it.

Reports have come out of Greenville, Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties recently. This warning was sent out from Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office:

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office would like to send a crime alert to local businesses in the community in regards to counterfeit currency being passed at several locations in Cherokee County. Over the past 48 hours four incidents have occurred in the county and one in the city of Gaffney. Investigators are working to develop a suspect at this time. We are asking businesses owners, store clerks and persons with items for sale to carefully check the authenticity of bills being passed. The incidents in the county have occurred at SCDMV located at 451 Hyatt Street Gaffney, SC, Auto-Stop Convenience Store (2-Incidents) located at 1614 Cherokee Avenue Gaffney, SC, and one private citizen attempting to sale a Play Station 3 video console. The reported incidents involve counterfeit currency of twenty’s and fifty dollar bills at this time. Anyone with information on the person(s) responsible for the printing and/or passing of counterfeit currency is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and speak with Investigator Tracy Fowler at (864)489-4722. Reward available for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible!

Please contact Sheriff Steve Mueller at 864-491-2990 if you have additional questions concerning these incidents or need additional information.

Clyde Jung of ShoGun Steakhouse said he exchanged many 20 and 100 dollar bills last weekend but never expected any of them to be counterfeit. He said he used a detector pen on the bills and when he was about to make a deposit at the bank, he noticed one bill felt strange.

“It looked fuzzy so I brought it up to the light and saw Lincoln on there,” said Jung.

Even though he used the popular pen, investigators told 7 On Your Side the pen is useless. The best way to tell if a bill is fake, is to match the hologram with the correct dollar amount. You can also look for “USA” and the correct dollar amount. Check the color and texture as well.

Investigators said crooks are finding more ways to make the fake money and technology like personal computers and high-tech printing is making it easier. Investigator  John Burgess at Spartanburg Public Safety said it’s likely all from the same batch.

“I would even know these are counterfeit by the color or texture but if you’re not that good at recognizing counterfeit money, just look at the serial number its counterfeit,” said Burgess.

He said no bill will ever have the same serial number and some of the bills their agency discovered do.

People found making fake money could be paid a visit by federal investigators officials said. They explain that it’s a felony offence and you could go to jail.

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