LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - At first glace, it looks like a regular hundred dollar bill, but you may want to look again.
“Most of them will have Chinese writing on them or motion picture money and sometimes the paper quality is really really bad,” DeRidder Police Chief of Detectives James Halbert said.
He says the department is seeing a flare up in counterfeit money throughout the city.
“We just go through, collect it, and try to trace it back on where it comes from" Halbert said. "Sometimes we are successful, sometimes we are not.”
The city has seen nine cases of counterfeit money since March 2019. Halbert says its not hard for the fake money to get into circulation.
“They target cashiers who are in a hurry, that are looking busy, maybe they are new and not very confident in themselves," Halbert said. "Those are they ones they will target and try to pass the bill.”
Unfortunately, once the business accepts the counterfeit money, their good have officially been stolen.
“They have no idea what register the money came from, what cashiers it was," Halbert said. "There may not be any video available to track back where the money comes from.”
Halbert says most of the money being circulated can be bought on Amazon for 10 dollars. However, if you are caught using the money, there will be consequences.
“It’s not illegal to possess this, the movie money," Halbert said. "It becomes a crime when you try to use it as actual currency, that’s when it becomes a crime, and its a misdemeanor. Obviously, printing it becomes a felony.”
The last time DeRidder had a case of residents printing money was summer 2018. The couple who was arrested in connection to the case is done with their federal charges but not their state charges.
For tips on how to spot counterfeit bills, visit the USA Secret Service website.