PORT ANGELES — Keep an eye out for realistic-looking counterfeit currency with Chinese characters printed in red ink on both sides, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is warning area businesses and the public.
The sheriff’s office has seen a “large increase” in counterfeit $10 and $20 bills being passed as authentic currency at local businesses and casinos, Sgt. Randy Pieper said.
Other agencies such as the Port Angeles, Sequim and Elwha police departments have had similar cases, Pieper said.
“Not all of it is reported,” Pieper added in a Tuesday interview.
The sheriff’s office has investigated about 10 cases of counterfeit money since June, including one involving a fake $100 bill, Pieper said.
Two people tried unsuccessfully to use counterfeit bills at 7 Cedars Casino on Monday night, Pieper said.
The fake bills are being purchased online at sites such as eBay and Amazon, he said.
In some cases, the currency has been washed to remove the Chinese characters. The fake bills might be capable of passing counterfeit pen tests.
“Unless you look close, it pretty much replicates real money,” Pieper said.
The printing on the counterfeit bills is not as precise as real money and the colors “just look different,” Pieper said.
“In some cases, those that tried to use the currency at businesses and casinos were unaware that it was counterfeit,” Pieper said in a Tuesday news release.
“Area businesses are encouraged to contact law enforcement concerning questionable currency and are encouraged to not accept questionable currency.
“It is unlawful to attempt to pass this type of currency in transactions, which is subject to both state and federal laws,” he added.
Who to contact
Anyone who believes they have received counterfeit currency is asked to phone the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office at 360-417-2459.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.