MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Bogus bills are being passed around in Murfreesboro, even tricking an unlikely victim.
A man paying his child support fees unknowingly passed fake bills through a chancery court clerk. These bills were so authentic looking, the clerk didn’t even notice.
Even though the Federal Reserve is adding more and more security features to paper money, crooks are still finding ways to try and beat the system.
Rutherford County Chancery Court clerk Tanya Jones always checks and double check before accepting any money for payment.
“We have counterfeit pens. I marked the bills,” Jones said. “I actually marked both sides of the bills, which is something I normally do on $100, that is something I do myself. The mark was like it should be; it was a pale yellow which is what is supposed to be if it’s not a counterfeit bill.”
Last Thursday was no different when a man handed her five $100 bills to pay his child support.
“They looked real,” Jones said. “There was really no different than I can tell.”
After the money was deposited in the bank, two of the bills turned out to be fake.
“Very surprised, yes, we were very, very surprised,” Jones said.
But Jones knew exactly who gave them the funny money. He was even captured on video.
“We were able to identify, probably within less than an hour, who had given us the bills,” said Rutherford County Chancery Court Clerk and Master John Bratcher.
The man wasn’t charged; he told authorities he had no idea where he got the money.
“It was determined that most likely someone had passed the bill to him,” Bratcher said.
Bogus bills have been passed at several other locations in Murfreesboro.
Police Sgt. Katrina Henderson said she never used counterfeit detection pens; she relies on the naked eye.
“Your eyes are going to be your safety factor in this and knowing the bills and what to look for,” Henderson said.
There is no loss of money to the county, but the man is out of an additional $200; he came back to the clerk’s office with two legitimate hundred dollars bills, just to stay current on his child support payments.
The clerk and Master told News 2 in his 25 years, this is the first time counterfeit money was passed at the chancery clerk’s office.
Henderson said if in doubt, you can always call police and they will check the money for you to see if it’s real.