Montezuma Police cracking down on counterfeit bills circulating through city

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MONTEZUMA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Police officers in Montezuma are cracking down on what the chief calls a small problem he doesn’t want getting any bigger. 

Crooks are convincing shoppers and patrons to swap out real money with counterfeit bills. 

This month, several stores and restaurants contacted officers about the fake bills circulating throughout the city.

"Basically the bills that have been coming in, most of the time when you’re dealing with a lot of counterfeit money, they pretty much have the same serial number," Chief Eric Finch says. 

He says the first incident happened on August 4th. 

"She gave him some money, some 20’s and basically she tried to go in and pass the money at a local business, one of our main Chinese restaurants, and once she went into the establishment, she noticed the money was fake," Finch says. 

Other incident happened at other stores including the Dollar General on Spaulding Road. 

"The money is usually pretty obviously fake. It’s not even printed on the actual paper," Jimmy Harmon, an employee at Papa’s Pizza, says. 

"I’ve caught about two or three in the past six months, mostly it was $50’s, like in the past three or four years it’s been $50’s, but these last six months it’s been a nice mix of $50’s and $100’s," Harmon says. 

He suggests being vigilant when you’re handling money. 

"The first thing you’ll notice is it doesn’t feel right and so you look at and your like ok this doesn’t feel right and this doesn’t look right, let’s take a look at it underneath the marker. For the most part you can just take a look at it and people are pretty dumb they’ll actually try it," Harmon says. 

Chief Finch agrees. 

"Don’t accept these $100 bills or any money from someone unless you know that the money is good," Finch says. 

Montezuma police say they are looking for possible suspects in this scheme, but tell 41NBC it’s hard tracking down the source of fake bills once they’ve been exchanged. 

If you spot a fake bill or can help in this investigation call the Montezuma Police Department at 478-472-6260.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.