ELK RIVER, Minn. (WCCO) — Kara Loecken isn’t out to make huge money off the tables of kids clothes and used household items set up inside her garage.

Like most homeowners holding summer garage sales, it’s nice to earn some extra cash. But someone in Elk River is cutting into people’s profits by passing counterfeit bills at garage sales.

“So far I haven’t had anything too large,” she said. “There have been 5’s and 1’s. But I don’t know exactly how I’d be able to tell if it’s counterfeit or not, until I take it to the bank and find out for sure.”

That’s what Elk River police say happened at a couple other garage sales last weekend. More counterfeit money was also spent at a local thrift store. Police say unsuspecting folks are being ripped off by fake 5’s, 10’s and 20’s.

“If it doesn’t look right certainly don’t take it,” cautions Capt. Bob Kluntz.

Investigators say the bills were poor quality and likely not the work of seasoned counterfeiters.

“I don’t think it’s an overly sophisticated ring of any kind,” Kluntz said. “I think it’s just a few people with modern printing and copying equipment and they can make some facsimiles that are passable.”

Learn more on how to spot counterfeit money by visiting the U.S. Secret Service website.


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