Cape Girardeau business owners on lookout for counterfeit money - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau business owners on lookout for counterfeit money

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Counterfeiting is a year-round problem, but you may run into more of it this time of year.

As many people shop this holiday season, being a victim of counterfeit money is becoming too easy and business owner Emile Stephens said she's keeping her eyes open.

"We are more aware that there are more bills that could be circulating during this time that could be counterfeit," Stephens said.

Stephens owns a Annie-Ems At Home boutique in downtown Cape Girardeau. She said during the shopping season she takes no chances when it comes to counterfeit money.

"All of the bills, the larger bills, that come through our system we mark with a pen," she said. "If it shows up with a black spot we know that the bill is possibly counterfeit."

In recent years, the U.S. Secret Service recovered $156 million in counterfeit money, with thousands of people being arrested.

Some tips you can use if you were to end up with a fake bill:

  • If a cashier gives you a bill that's suspicious, ask for another one or ask the cashier to use the counterfeit pen to test it
  • Give the bill to a bank, they may not replace it, but if you're caught using it authorities may be notified.
  • Call Police and report exactly when and where you got the bill

"It's easy to get caught up in what you're doing so just be really mindful, looking at the bill, examining it," Stephens said.

Stephens said luckily counterfeit money isn't something her business has dealt with yet.

"We are very fortunate being in a very small community, so we know a lot of our customers on a first name basis," she said. "We're very lucky this isn't an issue for us at the moment."

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