The Grand Rapids Police Department is investigating an increase in a reported use of counterfeit money. Since December of 2017, there have been at least 12 cases or reported incidents.
Police have some tips for residents to avoid being scammed.
“We did have seven in December and five in January and that’s more than we generally see. So we wanted to make the public aware that it’s on the increase and how they can avoid being a victim.”
That’s Sgt. Cathy Williams, the Public Information Officer for the Grand Rapids Police Department. She’s talking about the 12 incidents of counterfeit money that have been reported since December. She says they’re hoping to make residents aware that the use of counterfeit money, mainly 50 and 100 dollar bills, is on the rise in the city.
“We’ve seen them in a wide variety of different businesses and even individuals. There’s been a couple restaurants, there has been a couple online sales, counterfeit incidents, incidents where they receive a counterfeit bill in return. And they don’t realize it until they go to use the bill.”
Sgt. Williams says she encourages residents to really be aware and check out the currency, especially if you sell an item through a social media site… adding, in some of the incidents, the bills were clearly fake.
“Take a look at it. Cause some of these bills were blatantly counterfeit. Some were marked for motion picture use only, or the president’s face was drastically different. The texture was different. There’s no security features. So, many of these bills that were passed were play money or counterfeit money.”
Sgt. Williams and the department encourages you can to visit “uscurrency.gov” for detailed security information regarding U.S. currency and perhaps invest in a counterfeit detector pen, especially if you’re a business owner. She also warns, that if you are presented with counterfeit money, avoid any confrontation and call 9-1-1
“Be a great witness. Try to write down as much information as possible. Including a vehicle description, a license plate. We certainly don’t want anyone to go hands on and try to detain them while calling police. Its not worth it. Your safety is worth more than a 50 or 100 dollar bill.”
Williams says if you have any information or even questions, you can call GRPD at 456-3400.