Valdosta Daily Times

August 31, 2013

Be on the lookout for funny money

Businesses, individuals report receiving counterfeit bills

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Several Valdosta businesses and individuals have reported receiving counterfeit money during the past few weeks.

A handful of incidents of counterfeiting were reported again Wednesday in Valdosta businesses, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

Valdosta Police Cmdr. Leslie Manahan said the VPD receives reports of counterfeit money on a regular basis.

“We get reports of all denominations, but recently appears to be more $100 bills,” Manahan said. “(Wednesday) we did have, what we think is one group of individuals that passed three counterfeit $100 bills at three local businesses.”

Manahan has assigned police detectives to the counterfeit cases and evidence is being gathered.

Finding suspects is not always easy. In some cases, individuals or businesses do not realize they are passing counterfeit bills.

“Unfortunately, many times when counterfeit bills are passed, businesses do not catch them at the incident time,” Manahan said. “We have also had many incidents where a citizen receives a counterfeit bill as change from somewhere and when they unknowingly pass it somewhere else, it is found to be counterfeit.”

Businesses employ various techniques to counter counterfeit bills. If you’ve ever seen a clerk hold your money up to the light, he’s looking for the watermarks and insignia which the Department of Treasury uses within legitimate currency.

Some businesses mark currency with special counterfeit pens but the police commander warned the pens are not always accurate.

“The best advice we can give someone who receives what they think is a counterfeit bill or has one in their possession, take it to a bank and have them verify that it is actually U.S. currency,” Manahan said. “Sometimes the counterfeit bills are obvious, but many times they are not.

“We do work with the Secret Service in turning over what counterfeit money is turned over to us, and there have been times that we have sent what was thought to be counterfeit that they return and advised us is not — that it is real currency.”

Anyone having any information regarding counterfeiting is urged to contact the Valdosta Police Department, (229) 293-3135; or may remain anonymous by calling the Crime Tip Line at (229) 293-3091.