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Police warning about counterfeit currency

Austin Police Chief David McKichan is advising retailers and those doing private transactions to be aware after someone attempted to use a counterfeit bill to purchase gas on Tuesday.

According to McKichan, police were called at 7:22 p.m. Tuesday to an Austin Kwik Trip regarding the incident. The clerk told police that the suspect came in and attempted to purchase $10 in gas with a $100 bill. The clerk saw that it was fake and retained the bill. The suspect left and was later stopped by police, who did not find anymore counterfeit currency on him or in his vehicle.

The suspect was not arrested; however, the case is under review by the County Attorney’s Office to see if charges will be filed, McKichan said.

Most of the fake bills are sold as “movie money” and feature markings on both sides; however, the bill used at Kwik Trip only had markings on the back. Photo provided

The Austin Police Department averages about one counterfeit currency case per month, McKichan said. He warned that the bills look and feel like real currency, but usually feature Asian-style markings that can be missed if the recipient is not aware of them. Most of the fake bills are sold as “movie money” and feature markings on both sides; however, the bill used at Kwik Trip only had markings on the back.

McKichan said that anyone who attempts to use counterfeit currency in a transaction, whether intentional or not, could face criminal charges.