FLEMINGSBURG — Fleming County residents may want to check their wallets to make sure their money is in fact real after counterfeit bills were discovered in Flemingsburg.
Police are opening an investigation into the distribution of counterfeit bills. Police were notified by a local gas station on Monday that it had received a $10 bill that was determined suspect after it was marked with a counterfeit detection pen.
According to FPD Sgt. Daniel Pollock, to the average individual, the $10 bill that was reported in wouldn’t raise any eyebrows.
“A person who works with money would know it’s a fake,” he said. “To others, it may look real.”
Counterfeit bills, according to Pollock, have been a relatively uncommon occurrence over the past several years. In recent years, however, accounts of individuals finding fake money have been on the rise.
“Maysville, Lexington — a lot of places are being hit,” Pollock said.
Pollock said there are websites that allow individuals to purchase fake bundles of $2,000 for around $12. People would mix the false bills with real ones and go to places where they know their money won’t be checked, like yard sales.
Factors like paper color, watermarks and even the feel of the bill can give away a counterfeit over the genuine article, Pollock said. One of the methods the police department is attempting to educate citizens on how to discern real and fake bills is through the website uscurrency.gov.
Pollock said on this website, users can find helpful diagrams and lessons on how to spot the differences in currencies, from the one dollar bill to the 100. Users can also download a free quick reference guide, which can aide retail stores which handle money daily.
Another measure Pollock advises retail workers to take is to not only mark $50 or $100 bills with a counterfeit detection pen, but also the smaller bills like $10 and $20 bills, as he said criminals are becoming wise to refrain using larger bills.
Pollock said the common charge for possessing and using counterfeit bills is first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison.
Officer Brad Crawford of the Flemingsburg Police Department is currently heading the investigation.