WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls Police officers said there is a rise in counterfeit money cases in the area.
Investigators for the Financial Crime Unit said there have been 20 documented cases of counterfeit bills since December of last year. The majority of cases involve counterfeit $100 bills.
One case involved 16 $100 bills but other bills are used as well. They said just two weeks ago a counterfeit 50 dollar bill was used at a store on the 2700 block of Central Freeway.
It is a criminal offense to knowingly use counterfeit money.
"We've have seen an uptick in these kinds of cases, counterfeit money being passed around town," Officer Brian Masterson said.
Off. Masterson worked as a detective for the Financial Crime Unit for more than nine years.
He said 'funny money' does not have any of the security measures in a real bill, like the feel.
"The kind of coat area it usually kind of a thicker area for the ink," Off. Masterson said. "A real bill its actually going to have some ridges there."
They will not look the same either. The color will be off especially under bright light.
"You'll be able to see the same face as a watermark through the bill there," Off. Masterson said.
Every bill has its own serial number so he said to keep an eye out for duplicates.
"If they pay with five 20 dollar bills and they all have the same serial number, it's a huge red flag."
Off. Masterson said the crime affects everyone.
"It's going to end up resulting in the loss of the business," he said. "They're going to be out of the product which in turn could impact the services that they provide or their fees may go up."
WFPD officers said they do have a few leads on suspects but need the public's help.
If you have any information on counterfeit money cases, then call Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers (940) 322-9888.