Counterfeit bills are in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Counterfeit bills are in South Georgia

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April 22, 2003

Quitman - At first glance, they look like the real thing. But look a little closer and the differences are obvious. "You can see the color is more yellow in the real bill, and the fake actually looks like it was printed on computer paper," said Joann Saunders, Investigator.

Several counterfeits have passed through local Quitman stores in the past month. "They're printing them from their computers, passing them off in stores, and getting away with it," said Saunders. "Then the stores are just out of their money."

A teller at Heritage Community Bank found one of the fakes. "She could tell immediately something was wrong because the face was backwards on the back, and it just looked really funny," said Edna Wheeler, Bank Teller.

The bank uses visual inspection and this pen to spot a counterfeit bill. "We mark it like this, and you can see the mark is a yellowish color," said Wheeler. "If it had been a fake, the mark would have stayed black."

Not all local merchants have these special tools, but with a little extra work, anyone can tell the difference. "First of all, notice how the customers are acting, and if they seem nervous, something is probably wrong," said Saunders. "You call also tell by the texture of the bill."

Quitman investigators haven't caught the person responsible for printing the bills. Counterfeiting is a felony offense that could carry up to 20 years in prison.

posted at 3:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com