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Busters Corner Store in Pataskala is the kind of mom and pop shop where customers can grab a pack of cigarettes and an egg sandwich all in one place.
Store clerk, Amber Rudd, can still remember what one customer set on the counter two weeks ago.
“He got a pack of cigarettes and a .99-cent drink,” said Rudd.
A routine purchase that's memorable because police said the customer paid with a fake $5 bill, and he made a second counterfeit purchase later that same day.
When the clerk noticed the customer paid with a $10 bill that looked smaller than the others, he called him out on it.
“He goes, ‘No, no I've got to take this back some guy just gave this to me,’” said Rudd. “He stood here and checked all of his money after that. He checked every one of his bills with our counterfeit pen.”
Pataskala police said they paid the customer a visit and recovered even more counterfeit money, but tracing the source of the fake bills will not be easy.
“It's tough, because they get out there and generally the people that have them aren't the ones making them,” said Capt. Michael Boals of the Pataskala Police Department.
The store said in the past, they would use this counterfeit pen only to check $50s and $100s to make sure they weren't counterfeit. Now, they are checking all bills.
Police said store clerks can keep counterfeit bills out of the register by checking the size and color of money, feeling the paper, and checking for a watermark.
A few moments of effort can keep small business owners from getting swindled a little at a time.
Police said counterfeit bills drag down the value of real money and drive up prices when businesses aren't reimbursed.
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