Merchants might want to take a close look at the next $100 bill they receive over the counter.
Four times in the past few days counterfeit $100 bills have been passed during over-the-counter transactions at businesses, Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Pattrick said. The most recent incident occurred Tuesday afternoon at Yellow House Fireworks, 1823 E. 1450 Road, a report said.
"After going over the money later and looking closer at the bill, they could see some of the ink had smeared," Pattrick said.
A man used the fake bill to pay for $20 worth of fireworks, receiving $80 in change, Pattrick said.
During one week, two counterfeit $100 bills were passed at Dillons, 1015 W. 23rd St., Pattrick said. Another turned up at Imperial Garden restaurant, 2907 W. Sixth St., he said.
All of the counterfeit $100s show the same 1974 series serial number, Pattrick said. That number is L37196356A.
At various times during the past few months businesses have reported receiving counterfeit $20 bills, according to police reports.
Although counterfeiting is a federal crime, local law enforcement agencies sometimes handle investigations on their own and don't always notify the Secret Service.
"It depends on how many instances we have," Pattrick said. "Now that we've had several recently, we may notify them."
Police advise merchants to examine bills closely if they think there is anything unusual about them.
Most counterfeit bills are of a lower denomination than $100 bills, Pattrick said.
"A $20 bill usually attracts less attention," he said.