JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Have you ever received counterfeit cash ? A Jacksonville woman said she did and she claims to have the pictures to prove it.
She called First Coast News Consumer Reporter David Williams, for help.
Vannetta Sharp-Mincey of Jacksonville said she went to a gas station on Merrill Road and Townsend Boulevard earlier this week.
She said she bought lottery tickets and got $70 in change. One $10 bill and $60 in fives. The next day, she said she noticed something about two $5 bills.
"I thought they had been washed in the washing machine," Sharp-Mincey said.
She claims the picture she provided to FCN is of those 2 bills. If one looks closely at the picture, it appears that the serial numbers are identical.
"I can deal with faded money," Sharp-Mincey explained, "But not the same serial numbered money."
She said she immediately told the store manager and police.
"It felt like the money out of a kids game that looks like a $5 bill," Sharp-Mincey said as she described what the bills in question felt like.
Secret Service special agent in charge Paul Elliott said counterfeit $5s are unusual. But the agency has seen several counterfeit $20s in our area.
The gas station store manager tells First Coast News tools and training are provided to employees to check bill authenticity.
But Sharp-Mincey feels otherwise.
"That lets me know the cashiers at the station are not checking all phases of money to make sure that the money is authentic," Sharp-Mincey said.
Elliott said an average of $10,000 in counterfeit bills come in from banks and police as far away as Volusia County. The gas station store manager tells FCN it's an issue in Arlington, adding they have several police reports involving counterfeit bills at the Merrill Road location.
"I'm hoping they give me my two $5 bills back," said Sharp-Mincey.
The pictures provided to FCN appear to show two bills of the same denomination with the same serial number. Elliott said in a case like that, one of them is counterfeit.
"If you go and use that station," Sharp-Mincey warned, "look at your money before you leave."
A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesperson tells FCN they don't follow up with cases like this, but the Secret Service does.
The gas station store manager tells FCN all Sharp-Mincey has to do is go back to the store and she'll get her $10 back.
First For You, how do you spot a fake bill?
Elliott said to compare it to a genuine bill. He advises people to look for the bill's security features. For example, a sharp and crisp seal of the United States Treasury.
He says to also look for a life-like portrait on the bill.
The Secret Service website has more on how to spot a counterfeit bill.