Chester businesses are being warned that counterfeit bills are turning up in the area.
At least three instances of fraudulent bills being used at local businesses have been reported since Jan. 1.
Chester Police Chief Ryan Coffey said they were notified by a local bank. The counterfeit bills were discovered by the store clerks and were received through normal transactions, he added.
Tanya Cowan, vice president and chief financial officer of Buena Vista National Bank in Chester, said in the latest case on Jan. 4, a business customer brought a bill that seemed questionable into the bank. Upon examination, it was determined to be counterfeit.
Cowan said the bank has seen one fake $100 bill and two fake $10 bills pop up. Both she and Coffey said the affected businesses seemed to have been picked at random, and they do not think specific businesses are being targeted.
Police are following up, but have no solid leads, Coffey added.
Cowan said the fakes appear to be good quality and not easily detectable from real currency.
"Unless you deal with money all the time, you may not be able to catch it," she said.
She said the best way to check a suspect bill is to hold it to a light and check the bill's hologram and security stripe.
"The fraudulent bill doesn't look right," she said.
Anyone who thinks they have a possible counterfeit can take the bill to any bank, Cowan said, where they can test the currency for validity.
Coffey added that anyone who received a counterfeit bill should call Chester police at (618) 826-5454.