Someone is out there trying to push counterfeit currency into local cash registers, and Hood River City Police want merchants to be alert.
Patrolman Erin Mason advises merchants to use the simple marking pen test of any $20, $50 or $100 bill offered in payment.
Paula Gonzalez, branch operations supervisor at CenterPointe Bank, says the marker pens are available at Hood River Stationers or Walmart. They work like a Sharpie — just draw a brief line on the bill. “If it stays yellow, the bill is good,” Gonzalez says. “If it turns black, it’s counterfeit.”
Mason asks any merchant who encounters what they think is a counterfeit bill to call 541-386-2711 to request an officer check into the source of the bill.
“We’ve been getting calls from people who have been getting counterfeits,” Mason says. “Even they get a bill from someone they know, they should still check them. People can get them from someone else and not know they’re counterfeit.”
He also said merchants might be suspect of anyone asking to break a $100 bill into smaller denominations. It could be a ruse to exchange a bogus bill for legitimate currency.