MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - A landlord says she is in a hard spot because her tenants paid in fake money.
Real cash has a definite texture, but that's not stopping people in Middletown from trying to pass fake bills. It's happening enough that the issue came up at a recent police chiefs meeting.
Middletown police are investigating the tenants for paying their landlord $111 for utilities in fake money.
In the last few months, there have been reports of people passing counterfeit money at locations like Kroger and Wendy's.
"There have been recent reports of counterfeit $50 bills," Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said. He attends monthly meetings with police, the FBI and the Secret Service.
"I wanted to know whether it was amateur hour or was it of a more professional quality?" Gmoser said.
The fake bills are less than sophisticated, he was told.
I went to the house to ask the tenants if they knew they might have passed counterfeit money, but no one came to the door
The landlord said they tried to spend the money at the new Gabe's store in Middletown, but an employee noticed all the serial numbers were the same.
A review by our partners at the Journal-News indicates that Middletown police had 31 calls related to counterfeit money in 2014. That number went up to 36 calls last year.
Gmoser says it's a good idea to take an extra minute to examine the cash you're given. You might be doing yourself and your business a favor.