Green Bay Police seeing spike in counterfeit money

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - From businesses to rummage sales to the Farmers Market, police are warning people to be on the lookout for counterfeit money.

Green Bay officers have noticed a spike in cases of fake bills. In some cases, the crooks are getting away with a lot of real cash.

The counterfeit cash looks real from afar, but a close glance will show obvious signs of fakery.

A fake $100 bill seized by police has what appears to be Chinese symbols on the back.

"They look real. They put a fake watermark, but this one won't show in the light, but when you look at it, it'll show the watermark, but when you hold it up it won't show," says Green Bay Police Lt. Ben Allen.

Nearly one dozen cases have been reported to date in 2019. Losses total roughly $1,000.

The suspects are passing fake $20s, $50s and $100s.

The suspect will purchase a small item and get change from the larger bill.

"It's during busy times. They're used to these transactions happening, so business is normal for them and then when they do their counts or put the money through bill counters, that's where they're being found," says Lt. Allen.

Investigators made one arrest in May. They believe recent cases are from a new suspect or group of suspects in town.

Lt. Allen says fast food restaurants and stores on Green Bay's far west side are among recent targets.

Allen is asking employees to be alert in hopes of preventing future fraud.

"Definitely mark them. Look for the watermarks by holding the bill up to the light," says Lt. Allen. "Be a good witness for us. Clothing descriptions. Has this person been in the store before? Are they a regular customer? Any info that we can then follow up on is definitely helpful."