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Fake money making rounds in Ascension Parish

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ST. AMANT - Deputies have some leads in a funny money scheme where hundreds of dollars in fake bills have been passed around Ascension Parish.

Thursday, investigators spent the day questioning people who were seen on surveillance video with the fake money. Earlier in the day, WBRZ cameras recorded deputies talking to a store manager after she reported fake money being used to buy something from her convenience store.

"I almost gave a customer a fake $10 bill because it got passed on to me from another customer who probably did not know that it was fake," Suzette Ferguson told WBRZ's Brittany Weiss.

"It's hard to tell what's out there right now," Lt. Colonel Bobby Webre told WBRZ's Alexa Vogue in an interview for a second story the station reported Thursday dealing with the counterfeit money scheme.

"We're hoping to catch it early before it gets out of hand," he said.

This month, there have been six cases of counterfeit money being used at multiple businesses. The problem has prompted store managers like Ferguson to be more thorough when taking cash from customers.

"It affects us all," said Ferguson. "We never know when we're going to receive it and pass it on to someone else."

The man and woman on surveillance video were seen using their fakes on April 1. The concern among law enforcement is that the fake money has spread. They are also surprised at the low denomination of the bills: tens and twenties.

"To an untrained eye, you probably wouldn't notice anything," Lt. Colonel Webre.

Investigators urge cashiers to check for a watermark, security strip and use an indicator marker.

East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes said they have not seen an uptick in counterfeit bills being used.


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