Hanford police say beware of bogus bills

FRESNO, Calif.

The first victim reported meeting a male named Christian Monday night in the Lowe's parking lot, to sell a saw he had listed on Craigslist for $180.00. The unsuspecting victim found out the money was fabricated when he attempted to make a purchase afterwards.

"That money was actually mixed. Some of it was fake bills that were printed on regular paper," said Stephanie Huddleston with the Hanford Police Department. "There was one bill that was actually a true U.S. Bill but it had been washed and the denomination had changed."

Through a bleaching process, investigators say the suspect turned a real $5 dollar bill into a fake $100 bill.

"Criminals are always one step ahead so they're constantly looking for new ways to try to fool the security measures," said Huddleston.

A second victim found he had been duped when he tried buying food from a Rally's restaurant with fake bills.

"They tested the money with one of the pens that changes color to tell if it's actual money or if it's false," said Huddleston.

Police say this is the time of year people fall for counterfeit schemes.

Monday night, Fresno police uncovered $3,200.00 in counterfeit money. All in the form of $100.00 bills after making a traffic stop on Pleasant and Shields in Central Fresno. The driver, Samuel Torres of Reedley, was booked on possession of counterfeit money.

Investigators advise people to pay close attention to their bills.

"The true currency is grainy, it has a grainy feel to it whereas if the fake currency is printed on regular paper it's going to be smooth. Look for the security strip that's inside the bills," said Huddleston.

Hanford police do not know if the two incidents are related but say they are following several leads.

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