Fake $20 bills passed

Police are warning locals to inspect $20 bills carefully after counterfeits were passed at three Ashland businesses on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The fake bills were passed at 7-Eleven and Case Coffee, both in the 1200 block of Siskiyou Boulevard, and at the Chevron Station at 2500 Ashland St., according to police reports.

"It's possible that it may be the same person in these two days, but there's nothing to indicate that it's the same person," said Sgt. Jim Alderman with the Ashland Police Department.

"Anybody with a good color printer can produce this stuff," he said.

The Ashland Police Department has received nine reports of counterfeit bills being passed since April. In July, the department alerted locals to the issue after a fake $20 bill turned up at Yogurt Hut downtown.

Police encourage businesses to use verification tools, such as counterfeit detection pens or machines, on bills with denominations of $20 and higher.

When counterfeit and authentic bills are compared side-by-side, their differences in paper and ink quality are easier to spot, Alderman said. Also, fake bills don't have metallic identification strips inside them like authentic bills do, he said.

If people think they've received a fake bill, they should call police, noting the time and the description of the person who tried to pass the bill, Alderman said.

Detectives have no suspects or leads in any of the nine counterfeit cases, he said.

"I'd love to tell you it's a ring or something doing this, but I don't believe it is," he said. "I think it's just random. You know, 'Going to the store, print up a twenty.'"

The Ashland Police Department asks anyone with information about the counterfeit bills to contact its Investigations Division at 482-5211.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.

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