Counterfeit bills popping up at garage sales in the metro

FARGO, ND. (Valley News Live) - Garage sales for one family in West Fargo are a 25-year tradition.

"This garage sale has been here for a few years,” said Joshua Bonsall. “Year, after year, after year."

Three generations of the family get together and contribute different items for the sale every year.

"The biggest thing I have ever sold in this garage sale is mostly my bike," said Bonsall.

It's garage sales just like this one that area officials are warning could become a target of counterfeit money.

Fargo Police say they have received reports of counterfeit bills being used at garage sales and on craigslist.

Claudia Crockett, Joshua’s grandmother, hosts the family garage sale each year. She says she's been concerned about this and has even taken action to prevent it.

"I don't know what to really look for in a counterfeit bill, but we just kind of decided ourselves that were not going to take 100’s," said Crockett.

But it's not just $100 bills that you need to worry about. In fact, $20 bills are the most commonly counterfeited, according to Fraud Fighter.

The good news is there are simple things to look for to make sure your garage sale doesn't get scammed.

Look for color-shifting ink in the bottom right corner of the bill. It should shift from copper to green when tilted.

Also, you can hold the bill up to a light. The watermark of Andrew Jackson will appear on the right side of the bill.

You can even buy a counterfeit detector pen. The ink will change to a dark color if any bill is fake.

There are trademark items on every U.S. dollar bill that can be used to catch fake money before it's too late.

For more ways to spot fake money: