Weekend shopping event being targeted to pass counterfeit bills(WDAY TV) - Police say trying to catch the criminals involved in recent counterfeit cases is not an easy job. Police have investigated at least 6 cases in the last two months. That's in just Fargo.
Police say it's hard to prosecute these cases, because so many times the people who pass the money get it from someone else. New technology is making it easier to print bills.
“We've seen a little bit more it seems this year based on my experiences throughout the years. And it just seems that we're taking in more and either people are getting better at looking at it and identifying it or we're just seeing that much more of it."
Police don't think it's a ring of counterfeit printers.
A common weekend shopping event is becoming a target for people trying to pass counterfeit money. WDAY 6 Reporter Dylan Wohlenhaus has tips on what to look for at garage sales, so you don't get short-changed.
One buck here, 50-cents there, it all adds up in the end. For the Ellingson family, they have made about 5-hundred bucks from their sale which makes them pretty happy. But what isn't too pleasing is the thought of counterfeit bills passing thought their till.
Samantha Ellingson: "We talked a little bit about not accepting checks, personal checks from people. You know we got a lot of bills passing through here, I guess in doing something as innocent as a garage sale, you don't really think about counterfeit money."
For Sarita Viestenz, she learned a thing or two about look for funny money by working at a bank and a gas station.
Sarita Viestenz: "If you turn it up to the sun you can see it, it says 20-dollars U.S.A. in there".
Simple things to look for are the printing. Is it blurry, does the bill have broken boarders?
Most commonly printed fake bills are usually the largest.
Barb Ellingson: "People just don't think of it, you really don't think of it, I never think of it."
And if you take one to the bank, cashing in you'll be the one who is short changed.
Sarita Viestenz: "We would have been out all that money and plus everything that we sold."
Getting the most money out of what you're getting rid of might mean a closer look at the bills you take.
Samantha Ellingson: "Its just kind of a forgotten deal in the process of it".
For more ways to find fake money, go to www.secretservice.gov.