LUBBOCK TX - After several local cases involving counterfeit money, experts are saying it's important that people know how to spot 'funny money' for themselves.
Deposit Director Molly Hall said they see counterfeit cash about once or twice a week, and it often comes to the bank from commercial businesses who received it from their customers.
"They're very surprised every time we let them know that the bill is counterfeit, because their employees aren't trained to be looking for things like that," Hall said.
Each bill is equipped with built-in security features, but it's a matter of knowing what to look for.
"Right here in the corner, it's color-changing ink, so when you move it to a 45-degree angle, it changes colors," Hall said, "There is also a counterfeit pen that businesses can use to determine whether or not it's fake."
There's no telling how long a fake bill could be handed off before it's discovered. Lubbock Police say it's something they're cracking down on.
"It's possession of counterfeit money, which would be a third-degree felony," LPD Public Information Officer Tiffany Pelt said, "You can be sentenced for two to ten years for a third degree felony, so it's a serious crime."
The good news is, if you really did receive fake money and unknowingly tried to pass it off, you won't be charged.
"When someone passes a counterfeit bill and they don't know that it's counterfeit, usually what will happen is they'll stay on scene, they'll wait for an investigator, they'll be questioned, and at that point the investigator or the officer will determine whether or not they believe that person knowingly tried to use fake money," Pelt said.
However, if someone pays you in counterfeit cash and you don't catch it, you'll be out the money.
"These cases are really hard to solve, and unfortunately if you're an individual, and you make a sale online, and you meet someone and you sell them something, and they give you counterfeit money and you don't catch it, you're out that money," Pelt said.
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