TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) -- Show me the money. Just make sure it's real. Counterfeit money has been circulating in Columbus County, and police are cracking down.
Police say counterfeiting is becoming a big problem, especially in small towns like Tabor City. They say the economy is to blame.
Hobie Wood and his wife say they caught Antonio Williams using fake money to buy a watermelon at their produce stand.
"It makes you mad," Wood said. "You're out here. You pay good money for it, and then somebody comes along and wants to beat you out of it."
Tabor City Police made a photocopy of the fake $100 bills and then sent them to the Secret Service. Police say they are getting a couple of phone calls a week about counterfeit money. Investigators say a man in Clarkton has also been making fake checks for people in Tabor City to cash.
"You can just call the bank and ask them if it's a good account number," TCPD Lt. Jerry Sarvis said. "And then if the bank says it's a bad or counterfeit check then you know it's wrong."
The US Treasury Department is coming out with new $100 bills next year that are supposed to make it harder for counterfeiters to copy, but Sarvis said that's not going to keep the old fake bills from circulating.
Detectives have caught most of the culprits. Tabor City Police think someone in the state is responsible for making the counterfeit bills. If you come across counterfeit money, call your local police department.