Counterfeit money making the rounds in Moberly

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MOBERLY — Businesses in Moberly are double-checking money as multiple reporters of counterfeit cash are under investigation by local police.

Barry Long, a clerk at the Moberly Phillips 66, said he fell victim to counterfeiters when he took a fake bill.

“It looked like a regular 100 dollar bill," Long said. "When I got it, you know I felt it and saw it and it looked just like an original one,” he said. “I grabbed it and I put it up and I saw the face. I didn’t swipe it but it looked legit and then the next morning it was a counterfeit.”

According to Cmdr. Troy Link of the Moberly Police Department, there are more than 10 current investigations on counterfeit money. The counterfeit bills range in denomination from $10 to $100.

He said clerks need to be more vigilant than they have been when doing business.

“I think that, many times, the clerks are busy and they just accept money,” Link said. "They are handling money all day, so it’s not until they go back at the end of the day to check the drawer that the fake money is found."

He said businesses are the ones who suffer when dealing with counterfeit money.

“It is unfortunate because we need to seize the counterfeit bill for the purpose of our investigation,” Link said. "When that happens, that means that goods have gone out and no money has been brought in. So it falls back on the business and this can be hard for small local shops." 

Long said he was fortunate to know the man who had given him the counterfeit money.

“After we figured out it was a fake, I was able to get a hold of him,” he said. "I actually have seen him a bunch of times come through. He said he had gotten the bill from selling his stereo."

Long said the man fully refunded the gas station to pay back the cost of his unknown counterfeit bill.

“I was lucky he paid it back. Otherwise, it was coming out of my paycheck. This is the first time it’s happened to me and it’s definitely the last.”