Counterfeit bills are on the rise in Pasco County

Posted at 5:30 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 19:02:58-04

PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Counterfeit money is on the rise in Pasco County, officials say. Victims like 70-year-old James Rivenburgh are getting blindsided by the fake bills. 

Rivenburgh likes to collect stuff. He’s dedicated a big chunk of his Port Richey property to motorcycles and memorabilia.

“This side is the bar.”

Nicknamed 'Face,' Rivenburgh has been around here for a long time.

“Johnny Cash lived about 2-3 blocks from here. He gave me that name.”

He’s not a rich man and that’s why losing any money he has hurts.

Rivenburgh says Thursday he tried to buy groceries with a hundred dollar bill but when the clerk tested it, it came up as counterfeit.

“And I’m like great. Just what I needed. Fake money.”

Rivenburgh says the frustrating part is, he got the bill as part of a bank withdrawal. 

He say he hasn’t checked the rest of his money yet.

“I’m afraid to. I really am.”

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office just put out an alert about a rise in the use of counterfeit bills.

They say some operations are printing $10,000 a day.

Last week, they arrested a man for trying to pay for a cab driver with a fake $50.

They say advancing technology is a huge factor, making it harder to know what’s real and what isn't. 

It’s especially tough for this 70-year-old.

“I can’t hardly see, so.”

To learn more about the security features of each denomination, click here.