Since June, some two-dozen businesses have called the Lexington Police Department to report counterfeit money made it into their cash registers.
The bogus $50 and $100 bills were used to pay for inexpensive items - usually less than $5 - primarily to get legitimate currency in change, said police chief Terrence Green in a news release on Thursday.
Particularly troubling is the quality of these bills.
Many of the bills examined “have passed the detection marker test,” Green said “but [they] do not have additional security features of legitimate U.S. currency.”
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The fake money was passed by males and females of various ages and ethnicity.
Cashiers were urged to pay special attention to any $50 and $100 bills given in payment.
“Look for security features that are present on printed U.S. currency which include color shifting ink, raised and detailed printing, watermarks, and security thread and ribbons,” Green said.
If you are given what you believe to be a bogus bill, don’t give it back to the customer, Green advised. Make note of the “subjects and vehicles involved, including the license plate,” he said.
Anyone with information about this counterfeit money operation working in the region is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.