Danville, VA - Danville businesses say they aren't laughing when it comes to the funny money showing up all over town.
Police say fake money has always been around, but they had been used to getting fewer than 10 reports a month.
Last year, they had nearly 150 reported cases. Since October, they've had 66 counterfeit bills show up.
At Shadowood Mart in Danville, employees know the cash gets a closer glance. That's because last year, they were one of the businesses who took a hit after accepting a counterfeit twenty dollar bill.
"When I am counting the money it feel funny to me," said Abdul Khan, owner of Shadowood Mart.
Danville Police say they're not alone. They've recently seen a spike in counterfeit bill reports for all denominations. The total dollar value loss since a year ago adds up to nearly $6,000.
"That's our day profit, you know? So when you lose 20 dollars, we lose a 20 dollar profit that day," said Khan.
"You could stand to lose a lot of money over a short period of time," said Corpl. Tim Scearce, Danville Police Department.
While Danville Police investigate who could be printing the money, where it is made, and how to stop it, they've been passing out pens and advise to affected businesses.
"We want to make people aware of things that they can do to stop it at the point of sale," said Scearce.
Police say there are some pretty easy ways to tell the difference with one of these pens. The UV light shows it's not very bright on the real one but very bright on the fake. The real one also has a strip in the middle. You can also always use the pen to mark and see the difference.
Khan says he has passed along those tips to his employees, and they are on the look out.
"I provide them a pen and I give them a couple tips how to check the fake money," said Khan.
You can buy pens just like the ones which police have been handing out. Police say if you don't stop the counterfeit bill at the point of sale and call police, then you will be the one out the money.
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