Four counterfeit $50 bills were turned in to law enforcement Thursday, making a total of six of the high-dollar notes that have been passed this week in Craig, police said.
"The fact that four showed up in one day tends to cause us concern," said Lt. John Forgay of the Craig Police Department. "It's a little unusual that they've been $50 bills. The most common bill that we see counterfeited is $20s."
Bank tellers at Craig's Community First Bank discovered two of the counterfeit $50 bills when two business customers tried to deposit them, bank president Tanya Griffith said.
Forgay was unclear Thursday where the other two bills had been passed.
"Last year we saw them floating, but it seemed like an isolated incident," Griffith said. "That's a lot of money for businesses to lose."
According to the bank's policy, if a teller identifies a counterfeit bill at the time of a deposit, the business customer takes the loss, Griffith said. If it goes undetected at first by bank employees and is deposited into the system, the bank takes the hit, she said.
To help businesses guard against accepting counterfeit bills, Community First is offering markers to its customers that help detect fake notes.
The counterfeit bills have a few characteristics in common, Forgay said. They are printed on paper that is darker than a legitimate bill and have a different feel than a genuine note. The recently passed fake notes are shiny, and some have corners with white tips.
Legitimate notes have a security strip running vertically down its left side and color-shifting ink on the bills number in the lower right-hand corners. A watermark -- or faint image of the president's face -- should be visible on both sides of the note.
Forgay said the possibility is great that the fake notes were generated locally and it's in the "far rim of possibility that innocent people are picking them up and passing them on."
He advised businesses to immediately call police if employees suspect a fake bill. Taking precautions, even while busy with transactions, should help guard against accepting counterfeit bills, he said.
"People need to really use common sense and remember not to be in too big of a hurry," Forgay said.