Fake money showing up more frequently in smaller bills - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fake money showing up more frequently in smaller bills

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – It takes a lot to surprise the police, but investigators at the Independence County Sheriff's Office have encountered something they've never seen before.

They actually recovered a fake one dollar bill – the first they've ever seen in Batesville.

Detectives now ask local businesses, like T Mart #12 in Batesville, to check cash carefully because phony money is coming in smaller and smaller bills.

However, anyone that comes into the T Mart might want to think twice before trying to use any counterfeit cash.

"If you're trying to pass a bill here, you're going to get busted because we're going to know," said Manager Millie Haney. "We're going to know. We're going to catch it."

Haney says she's trained all her employees to look for fake money by noticing a few tell-tale signs.

"Fake money is actually kind of waxy, or it's smeared, smudged. There are a lot of imperfections on it," she said. "You can spot it really well if you know what you're looking for."

Haney and her cashiers even have a track record to prove their accuracy.

"We have had some try to be passed," she said. "As soon as you kind of question it, people will grab it and run, but it's been a couple of years."

Now more than ever, the Independence County Sheriff's Office hopes other businesses will be just as vigilant as the T Mart to check all the cash they receive.

"It's going to take everybody stepping up and checking and stuff because it's getting out of hand real quick," said Investigator Jeff Sims.

He says in the past month alone, people have tried passing off smaller bills as real. Last week, he recovered a fake one dollar bill – the only one he's ever seen in the area.

"The chance you take for passing a counterfeit one dollar bill of going to federal prison or being charged with a Class B felony is pretty ridiculous," Sims said.

Officers even took in a fake $10 bill on Tuesday. The frequency of these incidents has indicated one thing to detectives, Sims says.

"We charged a lot of people last year, probably 10 or 15 that we charged with counterfeit money from hundreds to twenties and tens," he said. "Maybe they're going to smaller bills hoping that they won't be detected and be checked."

He can at least count on Haney to keep checking for fake money.

"I'm ready," she said. "You bring it here, we're calling the police and we have 16 cameras. We'll get you."

Independence County investigators claim they're not the only ones dealing with fake money problems right now. Sims says just about every surrounding county has also taken in more reports recently about counterfeit cash.

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