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Counterfeit bills circulate around the Valley - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Counterfeit bills circulate around the Valley

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MOORHEAD, M.N. -- Some restaurant managers around the Valley are being served funny money. This week Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead police are all reporting cases of counterfeit money.

The latest report was Thursday at Taco John's in Moorhead along 8th Avenue. When the man was denied the purchase, he then tried his luck at McDonald's who called police.

Manager Angela Suda's been working at Taco John's for 11 years. She said she's seen it all. This was a normal day on the job until one drive through customer tried to pass off a fake 50 dollar bill shortly after noon.

"The cashier opened the window to collect it and they asked them if they would take a 50 dollar bill that had been torn," said Suda. 

Suda rejected the money and good thing she did, because later Moorhead police confiscated the cash just down the road at a McDonald's. They assumed that same person tried to pass off the bill.

"We did have a couple different reports of counterfeit money being passed in Moorhead," said Lt. Tory Jacobson from the Moorhead Police Department. "This isn't a common occurrence, but it certainly happens occasionally."

Police believe the same person is using the fake money hitting up different businesses. Suda has been one of two fraudulent cases this week alone. She said one of the big problems in today's age is credit cards.

"I think a lot of people don't deal in cash anymore," Suda told Valley News Live. "So, they don't recognize any of the subtle differences."

When looking to spot a counterfeit bill, look for the strip in the paper. 

"Most of the time they look so fake they are not the right size, they're not the right color, they're not cut on the edge quite right," said Suda.

Moorhead police urge local businesses to keep their eyes open for fraudulent activity.

"Continue to remind your employees to examine the bills," said Lt. Jacobson. "They certainly have ways to test it and to verify whether it is good."

Managers and employees have their own way to detect if a bill is fake by using a special marker. When marking a counterfeit bill or any other piece of paper that's not a true bill, that yellow mark will only intensify. When marking a real bill, that line simply disappears.

In recent days, Fargo police have reported several cases, but will not yet release information since there are open investigations. West Fargo had two counterfeit incidents.
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