Businesses in Winnebago are on alert after one of them almost fell victim to counterfeit cash.
“Just being careful, slowing down and looking very carefully,” said Chief Todd Stockburger of the Winnebago Police Department. Counterfeit bills have made their way around the village in the past few months.
“We’ll get a couple every few months and then it’ll be very quiet for several more months but likely just a few time every year,” said Stockburger.
He adds in one instance a man was given 13 fake $100 hundred bills in exchange for a gold coin during an online meet up.
Chief Stockburger says to avoid being duped, check for a water mark by putting the bill up against the light – paying attention to how the money feels and making sure to take an extra moment to read the words on the money. And, if you have one handy, use a counterfeit detector pen.
“The marking pencil and that helped with a local business … showed that it was counterfeit,” said Stockburger.
That business was the Culver’s in Winnebago off of Highway 20. An employee caught a counterfeit bill with the words, “For motion picture use” on top.
The employee then used a counterfeit detector pen and the the mark she made then turned brown, indicating a fake bill.
“It was close enough to where, if you weren’t paying attention, she would have taken it, but luckily, she was,” said James Smith, owner of the Winnebago Culver’s.
Smith says double checking money became a priority after the restaurant fell victim a few weeks ago.
“The bank caught it for us so we were already kind of on higher alert than usual. [We] told everyone to start marking the bills, 10’s and 20’s,” Smith added..
Chief Stockburger says, if businesses have checked the bill and are still hesitant about its authenticity, the police are only a phone call away.
“We’re glad to look at the bill and even if we cant determine it. If it’s during business hours we’re okay taking the bill to the bank and having the bank examine it as well, which we have done in the past,” said Chief Stockburger.
Chief Stockburger also says police are more than happy to visit a business after hours and teach employees how to spot the fake bills.