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Retailers warned about fake bills circulating

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.

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“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.

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“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.

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