GREENSBORO – The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about an influx of counterfeit bills during the holiday shopping season.
Kevin Hinterberger, president of the Central North Carolina Better Business Bureau, said small businesses and vendors need to be especially careful this time of year because of the high volume of shoppers.
"It's a great opportunity for scammers to make some extra money,” Hinterberger said.
Hinterberger said learning what to look for is key.
"A lot of times it's quite apparent when you have a real bill in your hand and a forged bill in your hand,” he said. “The difference is quite remarkable. The ink is often raised on a real bill. A counterfeit bill will be smoother.”
The Secret Service also recommends checking the bill's portrait, Federal Reserve seals and border—all of which will be clear and crisp on a genuine bill and faded or flat on a counterfeit bill.
Hinterberger also recommends checking serial numbers.
"If you get a group of bills together at the same time and they don't look right, check the serial numbers to see if the serial numbers on all those bills match. If they're the same, they're counterfeit,” Hinterberger said.
The bottom line, experts say, is to be aware.