LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel Police warned residents and businesses about counterfeit money being used this holiday season. Recently, a man was taken down in Picayune after being sought after in the Pine Belt for passing fake money to area businesses.
"Generally, it's $100 bills," Captain Tommy Cox said. "It comes in waves. We will get some and then it will kind of die down a little bit."
But, recently Cox said they have had several reports of fake money floating throughout area businesses. One criminal in particular was leaving his mark in more places than just Laurel.
"What this young man was doing was going into a store, getting an item that didn't cost very much like five or ten dollars, and presenting a $100 bill for payment," Cox said. "He is obviously walking out with 90 something dollars in profit."
Darius Lavonne Sumrall was wanted in several different jurisdictions for passing around counterfeit $100 bills to businesses. Picayune police finally snagged him, and he is now facing charges. Cox offered this advice to small businesses.
"Look for the security strip or the color," Cox said. "Some of the colors in the newer money will turn different shades if you tilt it just right. The pens you can buy at the local office stores. They are not 100 percent, but it's quick, cheap and lets you know if you need to investigate."
If you're a customer, pay attention.
"There is a lot of shopping going on this time of year and just be careful, be aware," Cox said. "If something doesn't look right take an extra minute to just investigate a little bit more. If you're not comfortable with it, tell the business. You're the one doing business with them. Tell them, look I would rather get some different change or something like that and maybe it will save you a few dollars."