Counterfeit bills show up in Harlan

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Police say more than $3,000 worth of counterfeit money has circulated through businesses in Harlan in the past few months.

Harlan City Police have called the Secret Service for help in the investigation.

Police say many of the fake twenty dollar bills have the same serial number on them.

Gary Bryant says his mother is one person who got a fake twenty.

"Someone had gave her a counterfeit bill in change, twenty dollars back in change. She's 80 years old and she lost twenty dollars," Bryant said.

Harlan Police say in the past six months, they have collected more than $3,000 worth of counterfeit money from businesses.

"We first started getting small denominations, five dollar bills here and there, but gradually it's been more," said Jeff Owens with the Harlan Police Department.

Terry Peto says he received a fake fifty dollar bill.

"I did not expect that at all. That's something you would probably see in a larger city," Peto said.

Police say grocery stores and fast food restaurants are targeted the most.

"They're looking for a young teller or young employee that's not trained in how to handle counterfeit money on a busy day," Owens said.

Police say the best way to tell if a bill is real or fake is to feel it. They say the counterfeit bills do not feel the same as real money.
That is how Peto figured out he had a fake fifty dollar bill.

"It looked very real. The only way I knew it wasn't was the feel of the paper gave it away," he said.

Harlan Police say they are reviewing surveillance video from businesses who received counterfeit bills to see if they can pinpoint suspects.

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