Increase In Counterfeit Cash In Southern Oregon

By Yessenia Anderson

MEDFORD, Ore. — Law enforcement officials in the Rogue Valley say they are seeing an increase in counterfeit bills. They say the spike has led to more than a dozen cases in one city and that diligent employees have caught most of the bills.

At one local Subway franchise, they do not take any bills over twenty dollars in part to avoid a fake one and over the weekend a fifty dollar bill sent out a red alert to one cashier.

“I’d say, in the last four to five weeks, we’ve had a rise. We’ve been kind of flooded with counterfeit bills,” says Medford Police Sergeant Brent Mak.

Sergeant Mak has received fourteen reports just in the last month alone. In most cases the authenticity is given away at first touch.

“Basically use a photocopier and make it look just like it but they could never get the feel of the U.S. currency paper,” the Sergeant explains.

Officials say the most deceiving counterfeits are those made with real cash.

“They’ll bleach it out so the paper is the exact same and it even has some of the security features as well but they reprint a hundred dollar bill on top of it”

Subway Manager Andrew Phillips says his employee knew something was wrong before the suspect even opened his wallet.

“He way very nice. The guy was overly nice” Phillips observed.

Officials say strange behaviors are a tell sign, but its the quick action of those receiving the money that will make a difference. Subway employees in this case turned the money down, noted the license plate number and called police right away.

In January, two arrests were made for the purchase of a laptop with fake money at staples and downtown Havana Grill owners say they recently confiscated a 100-dollar bill. Police say as the money continues to flow these watchful eyes will help in that battle.

Medford Police say they are continuing their investigation on all of these cases and do have reason to believe a number of them could be related.