Fake $20 bills found in Crossville. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police say they've tracked counterfeit money being passed around in Crossville for months, and now they've found more in neighboring counties.
Crossville Police say they have confiscated thousands of dollars in fake money over several months, and many businesses are hurting.
"It's spreading out rapidly," said Detective William Padget with the Crossville Police Department. "This is hurting the individual and again we go back to the point that if you're the one holding the counterfeit money, your the one that's out the money. Mom and pop here that run a little restaurant, you come in and you eat lunch with them, and you pay with a couple counterfeit $20 bills they're out 40 bucks."
On Tuesday, fake money was passed at the Tobacco and Beverage Market in Crossville. The owner there says he's seen a lot and it is hurting his business.
Employee Suway Ham has worked there for 6 months, and has already spotted fake cash.
"They've actually been coming through quite frequently. It's a huge inconvenience for sure," said Ham. "We're not making any money at all, we're actually losing money it's such a hassle with the customers."
Some of the money being passed isn't just fake, it's reproduced from $5 into $50 and $100 bills. Police say the money may feel real, and have strips, but the tender is only work $5.
"What they're doing is taking 1 dollar bills or any other type of bills and printing them as 100's, it feels right, but if you look there's suppose to be the picture it's suppose to match and some of them don't," Ham added about her experience.
Police say they have identified who maybe responsible for the crimes, but have not made any formal arrests. They are still collecting evidence.
To make sure money is real:
Make sure you feel it, it shouldn't feel like normal paper.
Feel for raised or embossed print
Look for water marks in the empty space