Counterfeit money circulating in Fulton County

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Authorities in Fulton County are warning businesses and residents to be on the lookout for counterfeit $5, $10 and $20 bills this week.

"We received some information that counterfeit bills may be used in the area," said Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger.

Dillinger said details of the alleged scam could not be released to the public until the investigation is complete.

Salem Police Chief Al Roork said his department finds counterfeit bills each year in the Salem area.

"It has never been a serious problem, but it does come in spurts," Roork said.

He said most counterfeiters are amateurs who find ways to reprint money.

The two biggest differences between fake money and real money is the watermark strip, which is found only in authentic bills, and the texture.

"Real money is made of linen," Roork said. "Counterfeit money feels noticeable different. People at the bank identify fake money almost instantly because of the way it feels."

Roork said his department has had some success against counterfeiters.

"About three or four years ago we had a Westside man who passed a fake $20 bill over at Town and Country (grocery store in Salem)," Roork said. "We traced it back to him and it turned out his wife was producing the bills."

Roork said the man received probation for passing the counterfeit money.

Anyone with information about the counterfeiting scheme or who has received a counterfeit bill can contact the Fulton County Sheriff's Department at 870-895-2601.

Persons who provide information may remain anonymous if they wish.

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