Crime

Someone tried to pass off counterfeit $100 bills at a bank; Cambria businesses warned

Several Cambria businesses have reported receiving counterfeit bills, most commonly in $100 and $20 denominations.
Several Cambria businesses have reported receiving counterfeit bills, most commonly in $100 and $20 denominations.

The Cambria Chamber of Commerce is warning North Coast businesses of counterfeit money being circulated in the area after one local bank confiscated several fake notes.

In an email to members, the chamber of commerce wrote that Pacific Premier Bank caught three counterfeit $100 bills and one counterfeit $20 “over the last five business days.”

“They are extremely well-fabricated at first glance and feel,” bank manager Phillip Sullivan wrote.

He said businesses in Cambria and San Simeon seem to be targets; “may be a coincidence after Hwy. 1 reopened.”

While the fraudulent bills can be identified using detector pens or cash counters, Sullivan said, they can also be picked out by visible inspection.

“All three key security features are missing when it comes to watermarks and color-shifting ink, but the quick tell is the security ribbons are garbled with obscure letters/numbers,” the email read.

Sgt. Jay Wells, watch commander for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, said the standard policy for law enforcement is to take the initial report of counterfeit currency and then pass that information along to the U.S. Secret Service, the federal law enforcement entity that investigates counterfeiting.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7934, @andrewsheeler
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