La Feria police warn about counterfeit cash

Counterfeit money continues to circulate through Rio Grande Valley convenience stores and possibly other places of business as yet another fake bill is discovered at a La Feria Stripes store.

But not until after the transaction was made and the person who used it got away.

While police try to trace the money back to the suspect, they want you to take a closer look at what's in your wallet.

It's the second counterfeit case in just a few days in the La Feria.

The first case involved a store clerk getting duped out of $400 dollars when the suspect handed over fake $20 dollar bills.

The color on the fakes is darker, but La Feria Police Chief Don Garcia said when clerks are handling a lot of money during the day, they may overlook the visible signs.

Just on Wednesday, a fake $100 bill that went unnoticed.

Gracie Torres has seen counterfeit bills come through the Lone Star Food Store off Bass Boulevard and says she is always on the lookout.

I use the pen and if it marks black then it TMs fake, says Torres.

Unfortunately, the people making the faux dough are apparently producing material that passes the pen test.

Chief Garcia says, "whoever is producing this counterfeit money is certainly doing a good job of it, but the only thing this fake bill does not have is that strip."

With more cases being reported in Cameron County, store managers are not the only ones losing money, customers could get caught up in the exchange of the currency if it is not caught early enough.

Action 4 News asked a customer at Lone Star Food Store if he thinks he can spot a counterfeit bill.

I think so," Jeremy Casey replied. "Is it hard to tell?

He then is given the option to choose the between two $10 bills as to which is the fake.

Jeremy points to the right one.

If they're fake, Gracie snatches them away and calls police, protecting her business and her customers.

Jeremy said he usually doesn TMt check the money he TMs getting in return for a purchase, but is now going to pay more attention to it.

I don't usually concern myself with it, but apparently I should with the fakes going around," he said. "It's pretty serious."

Chief Garcia agreed.

"It's a federal offense. You're messing with the government, says Chief Garcia.

The person or persons responsible for using the counterfeit money in La Feria are still at large.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the La Feria Police Department at (956) 797-3121.

Chief Garcia tells Action 4 News Harlingen police have contacted his office with help locating a person using counterfeit money in their city as well.

If you would like to familiarize yourself with counterfeit currency to keep an eye out for the fake cash, go to the U.S. Secret Service website's counterfeit cash page.