Counterfeit criminals cashing in on fake bills - FOX 13 News

Counterfeit criminals cashing in on fake bills

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

Another bunch of counterfeit money is circulating around some Polk County businesses. This time, police say criminals are creating fake $10 bills.

Lakes Wales Police Lt. David Black said cashiers are much more likely to check high bills for fake. The $10 bills hardly get a second glance, making it the perfect ploy to cash in on counterfeits.

While the bills look real, Black said they feel phony.

"These are not real bills. Whether it is a laser jet or an ink jet, these are just on decent paper," he said.

Still, the fake bills were good enough to trick two Lake Wales businesses three days in a row. The Gate gas station on Ridge Way was hit twice, and the Chinese Express in Eagle Ridge Mall also passed one of the paper bills.

"Stuff happens quick. If you're good at what you do and you distract them a little bit, it's easy for them to pass it," Black said.

The fake $10 bills are just the latest string of counterfeit crimes in Polk County this summer. Last month, a pink-haired perp was caught on surveillance cameras in Winter Haven passing fake $50 bills to at least six businesses.

"It's so brazen that someone would think that they could continue to get away with it, because eventually they do get caught," Winter Haven Police's Jamie Brown said.

The pink lady was no exception. Winter Haven police say Kimberle Masters switched her bright hair to a shade of blonde but was eventually found in South Florida.

Lake Wales police say Polk County is a hotbed for counterfeit crimes due to its central location between big cities.

"People like to come this way, commit their crimes and then leave because of anonymity," Black said.

Police agencies in Polk County worry that this wave of fake cash is far from over. They're asking businesses and consumers to pay extra attention when checking out. They say if something feels or looks funny, it's probably for a reason and to contact your local police.

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