Phoenix business reports increase in number of counterfeit bills

Phoenix business reports increase in number of counterfeit bills
Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 21:02:54-04

One Phoenix business is turning to public shaming in an effort to discourage what it sees as a growing trend: customers paying with counterfeit currency.

Valle Luna, a Mexican restaurant near 32nd Street and Bell Road, posted pictures and video to its Facebook page of two customers it says paid a $70 bill with fake money. 

The incident is one of four managers say has happened at the restaurant in the past month. ABC15 has decided to blur the faces of those in the restaurant's footage because they have not been charged with a crime, and may not have even been aware the money they possessed wasn't genuine.

The Secret Service investigates cases counterfeit currency, but when asked for comment referred ABC15 to a government website which contains a list of identifying markers to help people and businesses determine whether a bill is genuine.

When a business receives a fake bill, it's typically the employees who pay the price.

"The waitresses have to recover that bill," said Diane Martin, who is worried about counterfeit money. "That comes out of their paycheck. It comes out of the money they have earned for the night."

When asked about this particular incident, a Phoenix Police Department spokesperson said department policy in counterfeit cases where the suspect was not present nor information available for their immediate apprehension is to have the business retain the bills and file the appropriate paperwork with their bank. Also, officers do not complete police reports nor collect evidence in those cases.