WALLACE, NC (WNCT) – Officials in the town of Wallace, Duplin County, recently saw an increase in counterfeit $ 100 bills. Authorities say this could be for several reasons.
“We have seen a significant increase in not only $ 100 bills, but also $ 20 bills finding their way into our local businesses,” Wallace Police Chief James Crayton said.
Officials say counterfeit banknotes are easy to spot – just pay attention to what’s on them and touch the banknote to make sure it’s real.
“Some of them are made for the movie money people have. And some are just simple photocopies that people have printed on paper that are still ending up in the hands that are receiving that money, ”Crayton said.
Officials warned that the markers might not always work because people can simply change the existing money to a higher denomination.
“The texture is there,” Crayton said. “And the marker will still work as it’s supposed to because it detects change.”
The police department distributed brochures and flyers to local businesses with details in US currency to help resolve the issue.
While distributing information to Express Mini Mart, the cashier gave the agent counterfeit money he received over three months ago. The cashier said he kept it because he knew it wasn’t real and wanted to give it to the police.
Crayton said this is a serious problem for local businesses.
“There are serious losses to our local businesses when this happens. And I think our local businesses have a lot of other things to worry about in terms of finding employees and retaining employees right now amid COVID and everything in between, ”Crayton said.
Crayton said this is happening across eastern North Carolina. He believes part of the reason for this is due to COVID-19 and people out of work. He also adds that this crime of expediency is a serious crime.
“There are some pretty serious criminal ramifications that come with this kind of business, so I caution those in the business of creating and transmitting these notes to beware of this,” Crayton said.