Police: Watch out for counterfeit money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police: Watch out for counterfeit money

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Police in Cedar Rapids are urging people to watch out for funny money.

There's been nearly two dozen cases of counterfeit money being passed around at businesses in the Cedar Rapids area.

In just a four-day period, police tell us they've received more than 20 reports of bad bills, mostly $20 and $100 bills being passed around in several businesses.

"If we take a fake bill then yes, it's a loss for the company," said Nicole Halstead, a cashier at Smokin' Joe's Tobacco and Liquor.

Cedar Rapids police say it's a loss for an individuals if they get counterfeit money from a business or bank.

That's why the suspect is typically charged with forgery or fraud.

Halstead says she they've gotten funny money before, but her manager reminds all cashiers to be on the lookout.

"The fake ones fell like thicker, like you can tell the difference when you touch them sometimes," said Halstead. "We look for the bar, the feel of it."

Cedar Rapids police recommends, looking for red and blue fibers embedded throughout the bill.

You should also look for watermarks when the bill is held up to the light that indicates that it's real.

"We look for threads," said Halstead. "One of the bills there will be little blue hairs, and sometimes they're red. [If it's fake] we keep it. I believe we're supposed to call police, and the boss would say call police when you get a fake bill."

Police are warning business and Cedar Rapids residents to take a moment to look at the bills right when you get them to help combat this crime and reduce your loss, and call police immediately

Three people have been arrested in the case:

23-year old Johnell Jones, faces a possession of a controlled substance charge, forgery and conspiracy to commit non-forcible felony.

22-year old Ranisha Wright, faces two counts of forgery charges and possession of a controlled substance.

20-year old Caitlin Coleman face two counts of forgery charges.

Police tell us the investigation is ongoing , because they are still getting reports of bogus bills being passed around in the area.

If you suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity, please report it immediately to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

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