BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Several local businesses in Cahaba Heights have reported being hit with counterfeit bills, and now police are getting involved.
According to Vestavia Hills police, several fake $100 bills have been circulated in Cahaba Heights in the last week.
“This is something that happens sporadically … People just do not handle as much money as they used to. Be aware if it feels different, has a strange texture to it, if it has a strange color maybe,” said Lt. Michael Keller with Vestavia Hills police.
He also warned of fraudulent $50, $20 and $10 bills. If you spot them, call police.
Any business that takes cash could be a target for the theft, but there are some telltale signs of counterfeit cash.
“The type, the quality of the paper, there’s the metallic strips, there’s the watermarks, there’s different things that you can look for,” Keller said.
Jamie Pursell, the proprietor of Leaf and Petal in Cahaba Heights, believes around six businesses in the area have been hit. In the past, his store has seen counterfeit bills as well.
“We’ve had several counterfeit $50 bills and $100 bills come through, and they’re all the newest versions, the pinks 50s and the blue 100s … They’re trying to make a small purchase in the $10 range and present a large like $100 bill and then get a lot of change,” Pursell said.
Now, they train their employees how to spot them, and they use a special pen that changes color when you write on a counterfeit bill.
Until the perpetrator or perpetrators are caught, he said the Cahaba Heights community is coming together to look out for each other.
“We just always have to be on guard that unfortunately there are always people that are out there that are trying to cheat,” Pursell said.