MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A business in the SpringHill Village Shopping Center was victim to counterfeit cash. It happened late last week.
“We were just really upset and angry. We had trusted this guy, he was giving us money. We really don’t have a big problem with people passing bad money or bad checks with us,” says Marjorie Millette, manager at ShoeFly.
But, that’s what happened last week when a man walked into the ShoeFly on Old Shell Road. He gave store owner Marjorie Millette a $100 bill and asked for a $25 gift card. Millette says the bill itself felt strange.
“The actual bill was very stiff and it was a little thick feeling and it was very, very vibrant,” says Millette.
“This whole area is made up of small businesses,” says LeNae Denson.
LeNae Denson owns Cleveland the Florist, located just down the street from ShoeFly.
“And so we are not used to having to mark our bills and do the things that larger stores would do,” says Denson.
Denson says they deal mostly with repeat customers, so they’ve never been concerned. Now you might remember that the ServisFirst Bank that sits just a block from both businesses, was recently robbed. The suspect was given counterfeit money instead of real cash. Some may assume this is the counterfeit money being spent by the suspect. But the twist in all this is that the $100 bill given at ShoeFly is different counterfeit money than the money given to the suspect. Which makes shop owners believe these are thieves just passing through town. Still, these shop owners are on guard.
“You know, $100 is a lot of money to us whereas it may not be much to a bigger department store,” says Denson.
“It kind of catches you off guard and it really angers you,” says Millette.
Normally, if a customer wanted to pay with a large bill, the shop owners would have them take it down to the bank. Now, they say, they’re looking at pens whose ink can detect a fake bill.