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.