MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You're probably sharing lots of cash during the holidays, but there is a warning to take a close look to make sure it's real.
Myrtle Beach Police tell WMBF they have received quite a few reports of people using and receiving counterfeit money at area stores. The month is not over but already, there has been sixteen police reports all involving counterfeit money. From grocery stores to convenience stores and even Myrtle Beach Police Department employees are recent victims.
According to the Myrtle Beach police report, an office clerk with the department was going through the money for a deposit when a counterfeit 20 dollar bill was discovered mixed in with money that was taken from the jail.
Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police said they have seen it all. "Through the course of our investigations we have seen, they're coming in all denominations; fives, 10's, ones, hundreds, and 20's," Crosby said.
Crosby explained counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated technology and it's even keeping banks on high alert. One viewer told us when he cashed a check at a local bank this month, the teller gave him a bogus 100 dollar bill. The man's bank verified it to be fake when he tried to deposit it. We checked with both banks who confirmed. South State Bank confirmed the situation occurred but would not comment any further on the matter. TD Bank verified the money was fake and after the incident corporate officials released the following statement, "TD Bank has well-established counterfeit detection and security measures. Our policies and procedures are designed to protect our customers and our bank from fraudulent and unlawful reproduction and use of currency. We aim to comply with all laws and work with the relevant legal authorities regarding the handling of counterfeit money."
So while you are busy trying to get the last minute shopping done, make sure you double check your cash flow for authenticity.
Crosby said, "Look at the ink, see if the ink is smeared or if it's a different coloration than what generally your money appears to be." Crosby also adds, "Make sure the dollar amount in the corner matches what is written on the bottom of the bill, for example, sometimes we'll see where they'll add a zero to make this a $10, it'll still say $1 dollar."
No arrests have been made in the reports for the month of December and investigators are working with the Secret Service to let them know the trends they are seeing here in Myrtle Beach to compare with other trends around the country.
A little history lesson, could help as Crosby said the presidents should match what denomination the bill is, so for $1 dollar bill it would be George Washington, and Andrew Jackson, a $ 20 dollar bill, you should make sure everything is consistent about the money.