Counterfeit currency in Coos Bay: 'We've had a pretty major influx'
COOS BAY, Ore. - Can you tell which of these bills are counterfeits?
"These two fifties on the end," Officer Bryan Looney says, "are actually washed five dollars bills."
The Coos Bay Police Department says they've seen an uptick in counterfeit bills being used in the area.
"Counterfeits come and go," Looney said. "We get them every once in a while, had an influx of them back in August, and then starting in January of this year we've had a pretty major influx."
Most of the counterfeit bills are being intercepted by banks after coming through business drops.
That means someone accepted the bill at a store or restaurant - and maybe made change.
"A lot of those bills are $50s and $100s," Looney said, "and a lot of those are being used to purchase inexpensive items so that can legitimate, genuine currency back."
At first sight, the bills can appear authentic. Looney says there are signs to look for.
While some counterfeits may be easier to spot than others, scammers are finding new ways to trick you
"Some of the bills are actually being treated with a substance that makes it so they defeat the currency checker pen," Looney said.
If you're not sure if a bill is real, consult your bank.