Authorities warn of counterfeit cash

Counterfeit cash is circulating throughout Marion County, and the Sheriff’s Office is working to take it off the streets.

“If you hold it up to where the light comes through it, there’s no hologram, there’s no watermark, and, there’s no security strip,” said Master Sgt. Duane Denault,  the Evidence Division’s Assistant Commander.

In short, it’s fake, and now it is evidence in a fresh counterfeiting case.  Deputies say a woman sold her XBox outside a Marion Oaks Winn-Dixie to a guy who gave her a handful of fifties, fake fifties.  She didn’t notice until it was too late.

Duane Denault said “It’s easier to copy and re-create the bills even with today’s printers.”

Easy enough that the bad bills keep coming in. 

Master Sargent Duane Denault explained  “We probably see anywhere from 40, 60, 80 items within a month’s time.”

FOX 35 got exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the evidence room at the Sheriff’s Office, for a close-up look at the counterfeit cash they’ve seized.  To help you spot fake money, Denault said look for subtle nuances in the cash in your pocket

He explained, “It’s not paper. It’s closer to linen. More or less like a handkerchief that you would have in your pocket.”

That’s a giveaway, and so are the serial numbers.

He said, “The serial numbers are too hard to recreate on each individual bill. So, they in turn, all the money will have the same serial number, as in this case.”

Because of crafty creators, the fakes keep coming in. Detectives want them off the streets.

Lauren Lettelier, with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, explained,  “You’re offering fake money for a real product, and that hurts everyone.”

The Sheriff’s Office and eagle-eyed detectives educating folks about counterfeit cash, so crooks don’t cash in on you.

Lettelier said,  “To get this fake money off of our streets.”

To learn how to authenticate your bills, visit the U.S. Currency Education Program’s website.