make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Christmas cash could be funny money

READ MORE: Christmas cash could be funny money

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Counterfeit money seems like something you'd see in the movies, but the funny money is far too often a reality.

The Secret Service said it removed $182 million in counterfeit money from the US and overseas in 2009. That's more than double what was seized in 2008.

Recently a Wilmington store that wished to remain anonymous said it received fake money good enough to fool a counterfeit bill marker and bank tellers before a money counting machine finally caught it.

Starway Flea Market manager Donald Simmons said his vendors deal mostly with cash, which makes them targets for counterfeiters.

"Ten and a half years, on two different occassions, I've been notified of counterfeit money going around, and actually received some myself in small amounts," Simmons said.

He said the first instance was pretty obvious, but the second time, the bills got better; a sign, perhaps, that counterfeiters are getting more creative even as the federal government continues to try and make currency harder to copy.

"The bills were very good quality counterfeit," Simmons said. "The only difference was that they more or less failed the marker test, but to the eye, they looked very very good."

Simmons said counterfeit money seems to come in waves.

"It really seems like if we get hit with it, and it gets passed around out here, you will hear of other businesses in that same time period that are getting hit with it also," he said. "I think most of the time, it probably comes in from out of town."

The Secret Service said there are a few key differences to look for, like a lifeless portrait, blurred borders and problems with the paper.

If you come across any counterfeit currency, you should contact the Secret Service immediately. The number in our area is (910) 313-3043.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.