Counterfeit cash alert: West Alabama & East Mississippi

MARENGO COUNTY, Ala. (WTOK) - As federal officials work several cases that involve counterfeit cash which has surfaced in one part of West Alabama, an alert is also being issued for residents in East Mississippi. Within the past two weeks, Chief Tommie Reese says several businesses in Demopolis have reported cases of fake cash being passed. So far, he says several hundred dollars worth of counterfeit money has been confiscated.

In an effort to halt the spread of the counterfeit cash, even across state lines, police in Demopolis have sent out alerts. Citizens National Bank in downtown Meridian is one agency that has received one.

Officials like Sandra Thompson Moore, who is the head bank teller at Citizens, say one of the biggest issues is just being able to identify a fake bill.

"'We have several features in the $100 bill that you can identify as far as being fake or real," says Moore. "We have a faint head imprint on the front right side of the $100 bill that you can see, and we also have a strip going down on the other side that you will not be able to see unless you hold it up to the light. You have to really feel your money to also know whether it's real or not because when it's fake it's more smooth."

Many people might not walk around with $100 bills every day, but perhaps you have $20. Moore says you can determine by the texture of a $20 whether it's real, and also by just holding it up to a light and looking through it.

"The $20 has a strip on the front near the left side, and the monogram on the bottom right moves the $20 back and forth," says Moore.

According to Chief Reese in Demopolis, reports of counterfeit cash are also being reported in other parts of Alabama. Locals are being advised to report all cases of fake money to authorities.