Seminar offers scoop on counterfeits

Published 7:51 am Friday, May 13, 2011

A free seminar hosted by Troy Bank and Trust will help retailers learn how to spot counterfeit bills and checks.

Jennifer Garrett is no stranger to seeing counterfeit money and checks. Working at the Piggly Wiggly on U.S. 231, she’s seen it all.

“And we’re seeing more counterfeit checks than ever before,” she said.

Garrett attended the first counterfeit money seminar offered by Troy Bank and Trust in April. “It was very useful. They told us different ways that people do it and that was good because if you’re not careful, you’ll be looking for the wrong thing.”

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And, as Garrett and other retailers are quick to point out, if a retailer accepts a counterfeit check or bill, they are “stuck.”

“That’s one of the reasons we’re offering the seminars,” said Dianna Lee, marketing officers for TB&T, explaining that the bank wanted to give retailers as much information as possible about the dangers of counterfeit money.

“Basically, if it crosses a retailer’s counter, the retailer is stuck. If it crosses a bank’s counter, the bank is stuck,” she said.

So the key is to identify the counterfeit bills and checks and reject them.

To help educate retailers, TB&T has been hosting a series of free seminars. The first took place in April; two others followed in Enterprise and Elba; and another will take place 6 p.m. Tuesday at Park Memorial United Methodist Church.

Presenters have included include TB&T Security Officers Mark Jordan and John Parker, Secret Service Agent Leighton Greenlee, and representatives of the Troy Police Department and the Pike County Sheriff’s Department.

Bank officers provide an overview of the problem in this area, including the denominations of cash being circulated and the types of checks being seen.

“Agent Greenlee talks about counterfeit money in general and has a great PowerPoint presentation that really illustrates what you need to look for,” Lee said.

The local law enforcement officers provide details on “what to do if you are given a counterfeit bill,” she added.

Lee said the seminars have been extremely well attended. “We have had a lot of counterfeit money surface in this area lately and quite honestly wanted to help our retailers,” she said. “This is a busy stretch of highway during spring and summer, and we want to give them as much information as possible so they can be prepared.”

Anyone wanting more information or to register for the upcoming seminar can contact Lee at 808-2825 by 5 p.m. Monday.