Posted: Oct 10, 2012 8:40 PM by Callie Eike - MTN News
Updated: Oct 10, 2012 9:34 PM
BILLINGS - Local banks report finding fake money mixed in with bank deposits from several Mountain Mudd Coffee kiosks.
Mountain Mudd's general manager, Jill Mason, said they believe people drove through, ordered one or two drinks, paid with a fake bill and received change.
With the availability of sophisticated printers, scanners and inks, U.S. paper currency is more susceptible to copying, allowing criminals to cash in on counterfeit money.
Mason said she wants other businesses to be on the lookout. "Any business should take the measures themselves to prevent this sort of thing from happening, and damaging the livelihood of their employees as well."
Since banks won't accept counterfeits, businesses pick up the tab.
"We did end up having to eat the amount of money that we gave out in change and also in product," said Mason.
It's a high price to pay when the cost of a specially designed money marker is only $5. If a bill fails to make the grade, cashiers must confiscate the cash and report it to authorities.
"If it's someone who knows they've been caught giving them a counterfeit bill, they get really defensive or they just run, but businesses have saved their merchandise, we've caught one of the bills, and we've got something to go off of with the camera footage," said Billings Police Officer Shane Winden. "Then we can maybe find out who's giving the counterfeit cash it to them."
"If you don't have the measures in place in your business, and you don't have tools available for your employees to assist you with identifying this sort of crime, then you're not going to be successful in avoiding it," said Mason
"It's a pretty serious offense, and it's not something I'd be messing around with," stated Winden.
So next time you ask someone to "show me the money", make sure it's the real deal