Police are alerting local businesses to watch out for counterfeit $20 and $10 bills after Key Bank reported Friday that Yogurt Hut received a counterfeit $20 bill.
At least four cases of counterfeit $20 and $10 bills in Medford were reported Thursday, police said. The couterfeits were passed at Medford area Arby's, Wendy's and Taco Bell restaurants and the Medford Dollar Tree.
"What has me concerned is that, because of the small denominations, they are targeting fast food and places like the Dollar Tree that don't give a second thought to accepting a $20 or a $10 bill," Officer Teri DeSilva said.
"Yogurt Hut did not realize it was counterfeit until it went to the bank," she added.
Key Bank sent the bill to the Secret Service, which investigates all reports of counterfeit money. Yogurt Hut received the bill Thursday.
At first glance, the counterfeit bills are difficult to spot, but the differences become clearer when compared with a legitimate bill, DeSilva said.
Compared to a real $20 bill, the counterfeit bill found in Ashland feels thinner. The counterfeit's front has more pink tones, the back of the bill has purple tones and the counterfeiter used scissors along the bottom of the bill to straighten out the edge.
"People just don't look at the twenties. That's why they're so easy to pass," DeSilva said.
DeSilva spent Friday afternoon alerting local businesses downtown.
"I was able to get on this rather quickly because I was downtown in the area," she said during an interview at the downtown station.
Police ask anyone who sees someone trying to circulate a counterfeit bill to call the department at 482-5211.