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Bogus bills beset businesses
FLORESVILLE -- Merchants here in recent weeks have been reporting occurrences of bogus $20 and $50 bills, which is why the Floresville Police Department is urging shopkeepers to be vigilant.
Detective George Ortiz of the Floresville Police Department said two counterfeit $20 bills with identical serial numbers were used at Mata’s Café on Third Street downtown. An employee accepted one of the bills as payment, but the second note that a suspect attempted to use to make change was declined. Ortiz said police are working to issue an arrest warrant for this suspect.
In another incident, someone tried to break a counterfeit $50 bill at the H-E-B supermarket on 10th Street (U.S. 181).
Police were called by employees of the Dollar General store on 10th Street when a cashier detected that someone tried to pay for purchases with fake $20 and $50 bills. The suspect fled before officers arrived.
“Merchants need to check currency,” Ortiz said.
He also suggests purchasing newer counterfeit detection pens equipped with an ultraviolet light. The light makes it easier to see watermarks and security features hidden in the paper used to print genuine currency.
A U.S. Secret Service website offers tips for determining the validity of American paper money. For information, see right.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call the Floresville Police Department at 830-393-4055. Anonymous tips -- which could be eligible for a cash reward -- can be furnished to Crime Stoppers at 830-393-INFO (4636).
The U.S. Secret Service reminds the public of its role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. Merchants should look at the money they receive, comparing suspect notes with genuine ones of the same denomination. Look for differences -- not similarities -- including:
•Portrait: A genuine portrait appears lifelike, standing out distinctly from the background, while a counterfeit portrait usually is lifeless and flat with details merging into the background.
•Serial numbers: Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and even spacing. They are printed in the same ink color as the treasury seal. A counterfeit note may have numbers that differ in color or shade, and may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.
•Paper: Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Counterfeiters often try to replicate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper.
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