When it comes to passing phony money, restaurants are always a common target. From ones to hundreds, authorities are seeing all kinds of bills get duplicated and passed around. And detectives admit, counterfeiters can be hard to catch.
Lufkin Police Detective Otis Almond said, "Unless you have a clerk that is on the ball and recognizes that they have counterfeit money that has been passed to them, and they either hold on to the money and try to hold the person there while somebody else calls, or they're observant enough to get a good description and see what kind of vehicle they get into when they leave."
It's not always easy for business employees to spot bogus bills, especially when they're dealing with a lot of customers. Crooks often watch for busy clerks when passing fake cash.
"Look at the money when it comes in and feel the money," said Detective Almond. "The counterfeit money that we're seeing has a different feel to it. The color's not exactly right on the paper, particularly the newer style bills."
Customers trying to spend counterfeit cash do not necessarily fit a common profile. All types of people are arrested for this crime.
"For the most part, a lot of the bills are passed around through the drug community. We do get a few of the youngsters or the kids in school who get the bright idea, 'let's make a few dollars; we'll see if we can pass it around,' and we've had that [in Lufkin] a couple of years ago."
For a closer look at the distinct differences between real money and counterfeit cash, go to http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml.