There's counterfeit money floating around in Middle Tennessee, and a lot of it has ended up in Murfreesboro.
Now, the fake bills have received attention from local police and the Secret Service.
At Swifty Gas in Murfreesboro, customers can get some of the best gas prices in town at less than $3 a gallon. But despite the low prices, workers said someone recently slipped them three fake $20 bills to get a tank of free gas.
"They will come in while you're busy, and they will try to fold it up and roll it up where you can't really see it and pass it to you. They will duck out here before you really see it," said Swifty Manager Jeremiah Soorty.
Swifty Gas is not alone. Over the past few weeks, clerks at Walmart, Mapco, Taco Bell and other businesses in Murfreesboro have received similar bogus bills.
"We have taken several reports. When we take a report, we don't investigate it. We turn it over to the Secret Service for further investigation," said Murfreesboro Police Sgt. Melvin Cunningham.
Officers said there are certain ways to tell how to spot a fake bill.
"You need to take a look at all the features, like the facial features. Take a look at the numbers. Make sure the numbers are even. Also look at the seal and make sure the seal is green and that it's full-color. Look at the edges and make sure that they are distinct and well marked," Cunningham said.
Soorty said Swifty Gas has changed its policy, and certain bills will now have to pass an inspection before clerks can accept them.
"A $20 and up, we have to mark it with these counterfeit pens before we can make change," he said.
Soorty also offered some simple advice to other area stores and clerks.
"Check your money. You've got to pay attention to what you're doing. If you don't pay attention to what you're doing, they'll get you."
For more information on how to detect counterfeit money, visit the Secret Service website at: http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.
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