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CENTERVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — A Houston County man was arrested last week for using counterfeit money. Police say Miguel Williams used a fake $100 bill at this Circle K gas station on Watson Boulevard in Centerville.
Police say this happens all the time. “Hundreds,” said Centerville Police Detective Christine Welch. “It’s quick the cashiers have long lines behind, you know, and they want to get him in and out.”
A Centerville shop says this never happened to them, but if it did, it would be a problem.
“It would still interrupt your business and our business income and you know being able to pay employees,” shared Victoria Torres a receptionist at the Hand Over Hearts Tattoo Shop.
When asked about their protocol for checking money, Torres said the shop take steps.
“We would use a pen and check it,” shared Torres.
Detective Welch explains that’s not the most effective way.
“I would not rely on that pen because a lot of the people that are counterfeiting they can bleach the bills,” said Welch.
The detective says people also print money on fake paper. She says real money has tiny blue and red fibers in the bill, and has a special thread.
“The real money you can see by holding it up to the light. There’s a special thread right here on the left and in that thread it’ll show you the USA and it’ll spell out the denomination of the money,” said Detective Welch.
Real money has a strip that will glow a certain color under a black light. The color depends on the bill. A $5 dollar bill will glow blue.
“The $10 bill it’ll glow orange, a 20 it’ll glow green, a 50 will glow yellow, and in a $100 bill it’ll glow pink,” explained the Centerville Detective.
Investigators say ink in a real bill will change from green to copper once the bill is tilted towards the light. It will also have ridges that you can feel by scratching it. Counterfeit cash will not have the strip or a water mark.
The Centerville Chief of Police says giving out phony cash is a crime that can cost someone jail time.
“Between 1 and 15 years,” said Chief Charles Hadden.
To help shop owners not fall victim, authorities say there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening.
“Sending your Cashiers off to training having us you know we can come in and talk to them that there’s certain things that they can look for on the bills right off the rip,” added Welch.