Merchants in Laguna Beach are being warned to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency.
After receiving an alert from the Laguna Beach Police Department, the Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to all retailers with advice about how to spot phony bills.
The letter, signed by chamber Executive Director Rose Hancock, states:
“The Laguna Beach Police Department has issued an alert on counterfeit money. LBPD has had two reports in the last week of counterfeit bills trying to be passed.
“One was a $20, and the other was a $100. In the case of the $100 bill, the suspect grabbed it out of the clerk’s hand as they attempted to swipe it with their counterfeit detector pen.
“If someone suspects a counterfeit is being passed, ask if the patron will wait while you consult with a co-worker.
“Hold onto the note and let the patron know you suspect it may be counterfeit.
“Contact the Laguna Beach Police Departments’ business number at (949) 497-0701 ext. 1.
“If the suspect flees, get a good description and tell the police employee the mode of transportation (vehicle/on foot) and the direction of travel."
Tips for merchant to identify genuine currency are:
?Hold note up to light to better see security thread and watermark
?Compare note to genuine note
?Place note under UV light
?Use a counterfeit pen
?Check special security features on bills: red/blue fibers; security thread (bills printed from 1990 on); color-shifting ink (bills printed from 1996 on); and watermark portrait (on bills printed from 1996 on).
Lt. Jason Kravetz said that merchants should report attempts to pass such bills so the department can track the incidents.