Be on the lookout for fake bills

LAKELAND – Funny money is circulating throughout the Bay Area, but it’s anything but funny if you get stuck with it.

When stores get a big bill, they typically use a special marker to see if it’s fake. That worked pretty well until counterfeiters began bleaching $1 and $5 bills and re-printing them as $50s and $100s.

When someone uses a marker on them, it indicates that they are real.

One Cold Stone Creamery location in Polk County knows the scam firsthand.

“About two months ago, we got a hundred — a bad hundred. It was two girls, and one of the teenagers took the first hundred. The second girl came in to try to pass another one to us and I refused. After that, we just quit taking the hundreds,” explained Nancy Yarborough of Cold Stone.

If you get stuck with a bad bill, it’s your loss. So how do you know the difference between a fake and real bill?

Experts say the image on the fake ones may not be as crisp and the color may be a little off.

But it’s not always easy to spot a fake one; even the so-called experts get taken sometimes. A bank in Lakeland recently got stuck with some fake ones.

If those guys can get taken, unfortunately, so can the rest of us.


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