WEST UNION, W.Va.- Doddridge County officials reported a major increase in counterfeit currency, with the Salem police department collecting thousands of dollars in fake bills in one weekend alone.
Sheriff Michael Headley advised all businesses and customers to check their bills before spending or accepting them. Businesses should use either a counterfeit detecting pen or light to check all bills spent.
“It’s hard for a normal person to spot a counterfeit bill. I mean, just by looking at it, it looks real, but until you go to spend it, you’re not going to know that. It feels like a piece of copy paper is what it feels like. And if you want to look at the light, it should have a line through it. These do not have the line through them,” said Headley.
Anyone suspected of making or passing fake bills could face two to 10 years in prison.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that passing a counterfeit bill is the same as counterfeiting. If you’re convicted of it, it’s about the same penalty,” said Headley.
If you suspect you have come into contact with counterfeit money, contact authorities immediately to determine whether the bill is real.
“If you’ve got any questions about a counterfeit bill, you can either bring them in to us or take them to your local bank. You’re not going to get one back from the bank and you should not get one back from any business,” said Headley.
Anyone with any information regarding counterfeiting in Doddridge County is encouraged to contact law enforcement.