“The bank caught them as they were processing the deposits and the money was then seized by the bank and naturally sent Secret Service down in Houston to be processed,” said Madisonville Police Chief C.W. “Chuck” May.
Counterfeit tens and twenties have been passed at M-S Grocer on South May Street as well as Family Dollar on East Main Street in Madisonville.
“In my prior experience, these are printer notes, even though I didn't have them in my hand, these are computer generated counterfeit bills that were printed off regular Xerox paper,” May added.
We spoke to a store clerk off camera who says from a distance the counterfeit bills look like the real deal, but to the touch -- feel like printer paper.
"As you know they are different textured, but they definitely look good, but they don't feel right,” said May. “A lot of these small ‘mom and pop’ business don't encounter that [counterfeit bills] very much, so someone just passing through could have purchased something very small and used a counterfeit $10 or $20 and moved on down the road, and the business would never know.”
Chief May says counterfeit bills are lighter to the touch and typically do not have a security strip or a watermark.
“Just because a bill has a strip in it doesn't mean it's counterfeit. You also have to look at the picture. We've had people wash money and change the five to a $50,” said May.
Chief May believes the scheme was caught early, but he urges business owners to be on alert for the bogus bills.