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Law enforcement warns Colletonians of fake cash, burglaries

Local law enforcement officers are encouraging Colleton residents to take extra precautions against two specific kinds of crimes that tend to increase during the holidays.
Counterfeit money is now spreading through the county. Because of this, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging business owners to take extra precautions against receiving the fake money, and from passing it along.
A recent incident involving counterfeit money occurred last week in Walterboro when a fake $50 bill was passed along at a city business. Deputies with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating this case, and are looking for the person responsible for using the fake cash at a Walterboro gas station: the money went from a customer at the gas station to another city business.
According to an incident report filed with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, the fake bill was not checked by a clerk to see if it was counterfeit before it was accepted as payment.
Information provided by the sheriff’s office states that digital technology is helping counterfeit cash-makers to try harder to make fake money. This is costing business owners a lot of money: according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in fake bills was discovered in 2018 in the United States.
Laws in the U.S. for having counterfeit money increased in 1992 when the Counterfeit Deterrence Act was created. Under these laws, anyone caught using fake cash is considered responsible and can be charged with distributing counterfeit money.
“It’s taken very seriously,” said Lowes. “With Walterboro having so much retail traffic and being along Interstate 95, we have a great deal of opportunity for counterfeit traffic,” she said.
She is advising business owners to learn a few tips about how to spot fake cash. One of those is to pay attention to the portrait of the men on the bills. Genuine money has an appearance of the portrait “standing out” from the background of the bill, she said.
The color, texture of the money and the actual paper of the money are also three main ways to check whether or not a bill is counterfeit.
For more tips, or if you have concerns or questions about counterfeit cash, contact the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211.
In addition to protecting yourself from accepting counterfeit cash. Deputies are also asking Colleton residents to take extra precautions against burglaries. According to Shalane Lowes, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, the number of residential burglaries tends to spike during the holidays. One of the main reasons for this is people’s use of social media. “Don’t post of Facebook that you’re going away for the holidays,” she said. “Leave your lights on, contact your local law enforcement agency, like the city police department or the sheriff’s office, and let them know you are going away,” Lowes said. “We can place your home on direct patrol.”

Heather Walters (1621 Posts)