First Posted: 5/20/2009
Multiple encounters with bogus money have been reported this week in Mount Airy, according to city police.
Discoveries of phony currency of varying denominations surface from time to time here, with counterfeit $10 and $20 bills involved in the most recent incidents.
Three counterfeit bills were discovered Monday at the Surry Telephone/Carolina West store on Rockford Street by Manager Traci Parries. The three fake $20 notes were located in a store deposit before it was taken to the bank.
Parries told Officer R.B. Davis that the phony money could have been received by the business at any time during a two-day period beginning last Friday.
Then on Tuesday, someone used a $10 bill while attempting to make a purchase at another Rockford Street business, which also was determined to be counterfeit. The victim in that case was Tracie Violet Anders of Haystack Road, who presented the bill at the Wilco-Hess convenience store.
Anders told Officer Davis that she had received the bill as change during an earlier transaction at Wal-Mart and did not know it was bogus.
Both incidents are still under investigation.
In issuing advice to businesses and consumers about how to avoid being a victim of counterfeiting, Mount Airy police say that simply checking to see if a bill looks right is one key step. This can include the shades of its ink and whether the money feels authentic in terms of weight.
Genuine currency also has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout, while counterfeit cash will contain red and blue lines printed on the surface but not embedded.
Markers that some businesses have used to check the validity of currency are said to be only 80-percent reliable.
Investigators have said that increased computer and printing technology is one reason behind the infiltration of counterfeit money in recent years, coupled with the economy.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.