Workers spot fake money

By Gary Brode |, Anna Carrera

Published 04/16 2014 05:37PM

Updated 04/17 2014 10:41AM

Update: 10:02 pm
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Workers at one UI building needed a sharp eye twice in one week. There were two separate incidents of someone using fake cash at the ARC Tuesday and last week. WCIA-3's Gary Brode tells us why smaller bills are being used.

When you think of fake bills, 100's and 50's come to mind. But 20's and 5's? That's a little strange, or so you would think. Apparently, it's happening more and more.

"I've been hearing more and more that nowadays they are trying to keep it so smaller bills so it seems less conspicuous."

Last week, when Elyssa Musaraca and a coworker took a twenty from someone wanting to buy a guest pass, something was a little off about the bill.

"I noticed that it felt a little different. The paper was thicker and not as soft. I pulled some twenties out of the back office and I notice the eyes were closer together and it was missing the watermark when you hold it up."

Musaraca called UI police. The man who paid with the fake Jackson was questioned, but not arrested. This event led to an employee meeting, just in time for the next incident.

"When it happened again last night, the facility manager told me it was two five dollar bills and, if we hadn't had our meeting on Monday, he probably wouldn't have noticed it. He wouldn't have been paying as close of attention to a five as we do with a 50 or 100 dollar bill."

A man paid with two fives. The problem was the bills had the same serial number. This time, the man who used the counterfeits left before officers could get there.

UI Police have seen some fake bills working their way around campus. ARC's assistant director says it's strange for this to happen twice in a week, but he isn't shocked.

"It's usually just the larger dollars, but it's probably just the times we're living in."

The good that comes from this, Erik Riha believes his workers can learn from both situations.

"In training, there is a lot of things that go on, but you never really experience and then it happens. So, I think, everyone is kind of going, 'Oh wow. That really can happen.'"

While these incidents happened at UI, Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh says there are a few cases of fake hundreds circulating through the northern part of the county, but no small bills.
Original: 5:37 pm
CHAMPAIGN -- Workers on the University of Illinois campus were able to spot counterfeit cash this week. It was just five dollars, but university police officers say the person working spotted the fakes and could tell right away.

It all happened Tuesday night, after 8 pm, at the ARC on campus. Investigators say someone came in and used two counterfeit five dollar bills to try to pay for day passes. The bills each had the same serial number. The service desk worker called the police when they realized what happened, but the person who brought them in left before officers could get there. No arrests were made.

Officers say they've also seen a few fake $20 bills circulating around campus.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.

Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: CCTip + info to CRIMES (274637)

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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