Bogus Bills Bounce in Mid-Missouri
"A lot of people think counterfeit currency is a victimless crime, and it is not," said Det. Bob Brown. "There is no victimless crime when it comes to counterfeiting."
Charlotte Wilmeno works at a convenience store where she's keeping an eagle eye on her cash register.
"It peaked whenever the gas prices were higher before, and kind of died down," she said. "But, I think that people that are going to do it are going to do it regardless of prices of anything."
Brown has had plenty of experience chasing counterfeiters.
"We call them interstate thieves," he explained, "because they follow the main roads, they follow the main highways, and they hit the bigger cities."
Brown said fast-food restaurants and gas stations are at higher risk because they have lots of cash on hand.
But, businesses can counteract counterfeiters by using a black light to find the magnetic strip on paper money, or they can use a special pen that turns amber on real money but black on bogus bills.
"Just about all of the counterfeit bills, somewhere along the line, are going to be caught," said Assistant Boone County Prosecutor Steven Berry.
Convicted counterfeiters face up to seven years in prison.