Counterfeit money on the rise in Opelousas

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) - Opelousas Police Department say it has received a large number of reports of fake money since the start of the year. In fact, they got a report of it just this week.

"We've had 11 occurrences of counterfeit money where it's been reported to us, which is a 70 percent increase from the same time period last year," said Major Mark Guidry.

He says they've seen a range of bills- from $100s and $10s. "A lot of them are being used at your small stores, some restaurants where people use a lot of cash transactions, and they're able to slip it through some of the cashiers who are just kind of moving around doing business pretty quickly," Guidry said. 

Guidry tells News 10 that oftentimes, those who accidentally end up with counterfeit money do so because they weren't paying attention.

"People are in so much of a rush a lot of times, they grab the money and go and then they wind up later realizing that they've picked up on some counterfeit."

But he says to avoid falling victim, all it takes is a close look.

"A lot of the counterfeit we've seen is kind of crude, where if you really take your time and look at it you can tell obviously that it's not a legitimate bill."

According to experts, the two easiest ways to see if a bill is real is to:

  1. Feel the paper-- It should feel slightly rough from the printing process.
  2. Check with a light-- A security thread and watermark should be visible for $5 bills and higher.

If you think you've received a counterfeit note, immediately notify local police. Try to remember what the person who gave you the money looks like, and if possible, write down their license plate number and vehicle description. Then, store the suspected counterfeit apart from real money and give to law enforcement authorities as soon as possible.

For more information on different note identifiers click here.

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