What to do if you unintentionally use counterfeit money

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Most of us will never have to worry about it, but people can sometimes unknowingly use counterfeit money, as four men in Wilmington did recently.

If you unintentionally use counterfeit bills, what should you do?

Contacting local police and explaining the situation is the first step.

"A lot of times, people can get a counterfeit bill from a business that they didn't know was counterfeit and then they try to spend it and it's counterfeit, but they didn't have that intent," Lt. Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said. "We have to be able to prove that there's intent, that they willingly used the counterfeit money. Intent is a large part of it."

Brewer said counterfeit bills often have a different feel and texture and he wanted people in Wilmington to also be aware of "movie money" -- bills used on television and movie shoots in town.

For more information, the Secret Service's website has a section dedicated to helping spot counterfeit currency.

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