Funny Money Frustrates Grayson Co. Stores - - No One Gets You Closer

Funny Money Frustrates Grayson Co. Stores


SHERMAN, TX -- Counterfeit money and fake checks are two problems stores  have to deal with. Some businesses are using measures designed to stop them from losing money to people willing to break the law, but they do not always work.

The owner of a Denison pizza parlor says he invested in a gadget that reads the bill like a vending machine money input to see if it is fake, after a fake bill got by his counterfeit-checking pen a couple years ago.

"When you water test and you check it that way, then you assume that it's good," says Little Caesar's Pizza owner Jimmy Young. "It was a legitimate paper bill, it was just a $5 bill that had been washed and reprinted to $100."

The pen did work in Sherman on Tuesday, when a man went into Lone Star convenience store on F.M. 1417, trying to pay for gas with a fake $50 bill. Here, employees are given instructions to run the pen over all large bills.

"There's certain marks in there you look for, like a watermark, or there's other stuff to look for, if it doesn't feel like it should feel," says manager Dianna Dean.

It is not only fake bills that have been keeping stores busy looking out for scams, there is also another problem, and that one is fake checks.

"The fonts are different, or a lot of checks have the security mark and they don't have it, there's different ways to tell," says teller Shalene White.

When a woman came into Cliff's Check Cashing on Texoma Parkway with a fake check, the tellers at the store held on to it. "They train us in training to show us what to look for on a fake check," White says. "Then if we're still not sure, we send it over to the call center, which is in Dallas, our corporate office, and they have software and programs to look up and see if it's fake or not."

The ways of faking vary, but police say there is one good way to spot someone who may be trying to pull a scam. "Anybody that's actually paying with real currency, if there is any question and the police department is called, nine times out of ten they are going to wait for the officers to show up," says Sgt. D.M. Hampton of the Sherman Police Department. 

As stores get busier coming up during the holidays, Hampton says that employees need to take that extra time to look to make sure cash or checks are real. Even so, he says some counterfeit cash makes it into the system, even into ATMs.