Champaign Police: Beware of Counterfeit Money
By Jeff Bossert
Champaign Police are warning the public after several reports of counterfeit money being distributed at area businesses.
A press release indicates there is an ongoing investigation with the United States Secret Service. The Police Department said the fraudulent bills have been circulated from businesses located on, or near, North Prospect Avenue.
A number of the reports involve people using the counterfeit money for pizza deliveries and at several fast food restaurants. Officers have recovered money ranging from $1 to $100 bills.
Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Anthony Spera is based in Springfield. His office is working with city officers to follow up on leads.
Spera said the notes are low quality and made with an inkjet printer, meaning the public can identify fraudulent bills if they look closely.
“In these type of notes, they’ll see dots and some off-color, such as magenta, and other colors that they identify as not being genuine," he said. "It’s a different printing process.”
Spera said cases like these are not unique to Central Illinois.
Police are warning the public to be wary of unknown persons who attempt to pass along money, ask for bills to be traded out or make requests for change.
Officers have also received reports of large sums of counterfeit cash being distributed or tossed into groups of people.
Reports made to Champaign Police will be forwarded to the Secret Service for further review.
Anyone with information regarding those involved with counterfeiting currency can call Champaign Police at (217) 351-4545 or Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS.)