Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Increase of counterfeiting occurring within county

Within the past eight months, Walterboro and surrounding Colleton County have experienced a marked increase in the passage and attempted passage of counterfeit money.

Within the City of Walterboro, 31 counterfeiting incidents have occurred since January, most of them at convenience or grocery stores and restaurants. The latest incident occurred at a local drug store at 7:34 p.m. Friday.

In the county, there have been 17 incidents concerning the passage of counterfeit money. Most of them were in the area making up the outskirts of the city, but one incident occurred in Jacksonboro. Almost all of the incidents within the county occurred within convenience stores.

An anonymous source reported to The Colletonian that the counterfeiters are operating locally out of the Smoaks area, and that 100 counterfeit one dollar bills are being offered for forty-five dollars. Other denominations are also being offered for sale, the source noted.

Major Ken Dasen of the Walterboro Police Department commented on the increased counterfeiting incidents locally. “If you go to a bank, you’ve got no worries,” said Dasen Thursday. “You’re going to get legitimate money from that source. But at grocery stores or stores in general, you don’t look closely at your change, and you might end up with a counterfeit bill.” Dasen noted that, if someone thinks they have received a counterfeit bill in their change from a store purchase, they should contact law enforcement.

 Dasen said that some store clerks don’t check bills of smaller denotation, such as ones, fives, and tens. “There’s just too many people coming and going, and they just get complacent.” But he noted that all store clerks now have special pens that they can swipe across the currency. If it makes no mark, the swiped bill is real. If the pen leaves a mark, the bill is counterfeit.

Although using the pen is the easiest way to check for counterfeiting, Dasen noted there are other methods of checking for fake bills. He said counterfeit bills don’t feel like real currency. Dasen also pointed out that holograms are now imprinted within every bill and clerks can check them to determine whether they are legitimate.

A clerk at a local convenience store pulled out 12 counterfeit bills that the store she works in has collected over the past several weeks. “It can get real busy in here, and, with all the business, it is hard to catch them.”