Police See Increase In Use of Counterfeit Cash
An increase of counterfeit bills being used at local stores has police turning over dozens of cases to the secret service.
Police say so far this year, hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars used at stores have ended up being fake.
And as our Annette Garcia reports the crooks are getting better at making the bills and know exactly when to use them.
They look like the real thing.
Hold them up to the light and the watermarks are all there.
And even that yellow marker retail stores use to find the fakes, they’re no match for these bills.
“Not even the traditional pen that they use to mark it works anymore.”
But police say this cash is counterfeit and being used more than ever at local retail stores like Wal-Mart, Big Lots and mainly HEB.
Some local bars have also taken a loss.
Resulting in a few dozen cases being turned over to the secret service.
“You’re talking about potentially thousands and thousands of dollars worth.”
There are some mistakes that are easy to spot.
This is actually a real 20 dollar bill and as you can see its more crisp in the coloring and lettering. But if you look at this counterfeit bill, flip it over and obviously there’s something that’s not right.”
Obviously a 20 dollar bill won’t work out that way, the treasury wont put it out they have quality control mechanisms in place.
But it takes time to spot the bad bills.
“You have lines ten 15 people deep. You’re about to have tax free weekend. This is the time people take the opportunity to pay for counterfeit bills.”
Police say high quality printers do make it easy for crooks to print out a fortune.
These two men were arrested in May for using fake bills to pay for a motel room, where they were making more fake money.
Police say criminals may find it easy to use counterfeits, but the consequences end up costing more in the end.
People caught counterfeiting bills do face federal penalties and can serve up to 15 years in federal prison for each bill fake bill they make.
They can also pay large fines.