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Counterfeiting Affecting Local Businesses

LAWTON, Okla_Many across town have taken a second look at bills they have in their wallets after police have received nearly a dozen reports of counterfeit bills over the past two weeks.

Police said they typically see a spike in counterfeit money around the holidays, so it is important to know what to look for and how to prevent from being scammed.

Employees at LuLu's Coffee and Bagel on Cache Road in Lawton are handling things a little differently after coming in contact with a high dollar counterfeit bill last week.

"We now have a marker where we can check money and we take nothing over a twenty, and then we use the marker to check the twenties to make sure they're not counterfeit, " said Kayla Edwards, an employee at LuLu's.

Employees said it shocked them to receive a fake bill, and for a small business like theirs, losing any sum of money is a huge loss.

Edwards said, "Well it makes me sad because my bosses work so hard to make this business, it's her dream and to have people giving us fake money so we can give them our real money in change, it just takes away from us."

While finding the fake bills may come as a shock to business owners, Lawton Police said this problem is nothing new.

Captain Craig Akard of the Lawton Police Department said, "This time of the year we see a rise in counterfeit bills. Some of them are very easy to see that they are fake and some of them aren't."

Akard said getting familiar with what money should look like is key in cutting down on the problem.

"Pay more attention to the bills. To what the bills look like. Especially your bigger denominations. Especially your 100 dollar bills. Check your 100 dollar bills, make sure they feel right, they look right, " said Akard.

Employees at LuLu's are afraid their lack of knowledge and security measures are what made them a target, but they are making strides to ensure they do not accept even another dollar of fake money.

Kayla Edwards said, "I think it's better that we use the marker, we don't take anything higher than twenties. Do anything you can do to prevent it so you're not losing money for your business."

Captain Akard also stressed that counterfeiting or printing your own money is a felony, and if that money were to cross state lines the Federal Government would become involved.


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