FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Fort Smith police are working to crack down on counterfeit production before the fake bills are circulated, all while offering tips to make sure innocent people don't become victims of this trend.
Four people were arrested after police received a tip about counterfeit production. Officers said they were dispatched to a home, where they found the suspects printing fake bills.
"I think they learned how to do it in prison and were trying it out to see how well it worked," Lt. Wes Milam, Fort Smith Police Department said.
Police explained the suspects used a printer to copy real money and then scrubbed the ink off with a cooking spray called Easy Off.
"They figure out how to print it to where it looks good on this and print it over [another material] to turn a one dollar into a ten dollar," Milam said.
Using counterfeit money can have impact on local businesses.
"It's just like theft," Milam said. "You are not using actual currency when somebody uses fraudulent cash. It's theft because you're getting services for free."
This causes businesses to lose money, but it also puts customers at risk, who could receive the fake bills as change.
"These were smaller bills; ones and tens," Milam said. "When they go and try to use it and somebody catches it, then it looks bad on that person who had absolutely no intent whatsoever."
Officers suggest people pay attention to their cash, not just the larger bills.
"One of the easiest things is just the feel of the bill," Milam said. "Look at the bill, there are security devices built into every bill to help fraudulent use and counterfeit so just be extra cautious with the bill. If it doesn't look right, don't use it."
Police continue to keep an eye on counterfeit production moving forward.