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Bogus bills in Salt Lake County: Here’s what you need to know

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – After accepting counterfeit money, businesses in Midvale are taking extra precautions. Those precautions could impact how you do your holiday shopping or how you buy your next meal.

Customers at the Chick-fil-A in Midvale are not able to pay for their food with a $100 bill. There are signs posted in and around the restaurants letting people know that “due to a frequency of counterfeit bills in the Midvale area, they will no longer be accepting $100 bills.”

Management told ABC4 they didn’t realize someone paid for their meal with a fake $100 bill until it was too late.

The Five Guys, in the same shopping center, say they were also duped with counterfeit money three months ago.

“One of our new workers was handling the register and a customer gave them a fake $20 bill,” Chase Allen, a crew member at Five Guys told ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.

Allen says he and other crew members are taking extra precautions to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“It crosses my mind and I’m like, oh, I better check this so that if it’s fake, I don’t get in trouble.”

Detective Kevin Mallory with the Unified Police Department says the problem is not an isolated incident.

“There’s really no area that’s exempt from seeing the occasional counterfeit pop up,” he explained.

“Is there an uptick in counterfeit money being circulated during the holiday season?” asked Johnson.

“Generally speaking, counterfeit is produced when there’s a need for money and of course this time of year everybody can use a little bit of extra cash,” Mallory answered.

“A lot of businesses, especially your big-box retailers are really busy so it’s easier to pass those counterfeit,” said Mallory.

“It is very common that somebody goes to a store and uses a counterfeit bill, the cashier doesn’t pick up on it so it ends up in the register, and somebody else comes through that same line a little while later and they get that bill back, as part of their change, and so now, unknowing to them, they have a fake bill that they try and use later on and had no idea,” Mallory explained.

The detective describes a couple of ways people try and get away with the crime:

“They come in with a $100 bill, they spend five bucks, and now they get 95 back in legitimate money. So that’s where the concern comes in for places like restaurants, and stuff like that that have been hit with counterfeit. They end up losing that cash on the side.”

“Sometimes they’ll produce just smaller bills, fives, 10s, 20s, and they’ll just use them for regular use in lieu of real money.”

Here’s how to know if your money is real, according to uscurrency.gov:

For additional information on how to authenticate your money, click here.

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