COUNCIL BLUFFS — An unscrupulous pair gave counterfeit money to a benefit over the weekend, and the two counterfeit $20 bills weren't the only funny money reported Saturday.
Debbie Ross, a manager at the Pizza Hut on Madison Avenue, said two counterfeit $20 bills were used at a benefit yard sale at the restaurant.
Ross said a man from a group of four people at the sale bought an item for 85 cents and paid for it with a $20 bill. A woman from the group also used a $20 bill to buy a $2 pair of sandals. They received their change and left.
Ross said that even though she works for a business that handles money, she didn't notice that the bills were phony until she compared them with another bill. Then she realized that the two phony bills had the same serial number.
Another fake $20 bill was used at a convenience store Saturday. It was unclear whether the incidents were related.
Council Bluffs Police Criminal Investigation Division Sgt. David Dawson said there has been an increase lately of fake $20 bills in the metropolitan area.
He also said there have been a few $50 bills that are scanned over real $5 bills, so they feel like money but, if inspected, are obviously not $50 bills.
“If you hold them up to light, you can see Abe Lincoln,” Dawson said.
The counterfeiters often use events like sales to pass the money, he said, always trying to make real change from a phony bill.
Dawson said anyone accepting cash should be careful to examine all bills closely. The best way to spot a fake is to hold the bill up to the light and check for the metallic strip imbedded in the paper.
Anyone with information on either weekend incident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 712-328-STOP. Callers may remain anonymous and might be eligible for a cash reward — of real cash.