Agents Warn About Surge In Fake Bills From Overseas Being Passed In Central Ohio

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Secret Service agents are warning about a surge of fake hundred dollars bills imported from overseas.

The Secret Service office locally handles 30 Central Ohio counties.

Over the last three years, agents said they've collected an average of $500,000 a year in counterfeit currency.

Nearly 90 percent of that is passed in the Columbus metro area.

“We're finding right now a trend with drug users are printing money to support their habit,” said Jonathan Schuck with the Secret Service.

With just one or two big bills being passed at a time, the list of businesses victimized is growing.

Authorities said the $100 are also coming from overseas with all the security features on them, including the water marks and different serial numbers.

“It's actually genuine paper. So, if you put the counterfeit pen on it, it's going to go through every time,” Schuck said.

Agents said there are two ways to figure out the fakes. The paper is graphed, and on the back of the bill there is raised lettering where it shouldn’t be.

Just in the last few weeks in Columbus, Walmart and Target stores have been hit as well as major grocery chains including Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle and Whole Foods.

Security video caught suspects trading their fake hundred for a few small items and a pocket full of real money at multiple area stores.

Some local businesses said they're now on the lookout for the bogus Benjamins.

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