Police warn of counterfeit bills with Chinese writing

Fake $20, $50 and $100 bills with red Chinese lettering was are circulating in the St. George area, according to the police. The bills are actually used to train Chinese bank tellers yet have also been used in counterfeit scams, St. George, Utah, Dec. 3, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police are warning the public of a new batch of fake money that has been popping up across the county – and beyond – and is now circulating through Southern Utah.

The St. George Police Department posted to Facebook Tuesday that it had received multiple calls concerning counterfeit bills with red Chinese lettering on them.

“These bills are not real currency, and anyone receiving such a bill should immediately contact St George Police,” the post states.

“Be sure to exercise due caution when accepting cash, particularly with denominations over $20.”

Among the businesses hit in St. George were Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’s and a number of convenience stores, St. George Police officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News.

Target was possibly the worst hit with a loss of around $800, she said.

The scam relies on people either not paying attention or thinking the lettering is just something someone stamped on a legitimate bill, Atkin said, adding that it isn’t uncommon for people to sometimes write messages on bills as they are passed along.

However, this isn’t the first time the fake bills with Chinese lettering have shown up in Utah.

Last year the Moab Police Department encountered the bill as well, The Times-Independent reported. Moab Police came across the fake bills in October 2017 after it was reported they were circulating around small businesses in the area.

The bills have also appeared in other states, including Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Arizona, as well as the countries of Canada and Australia, according to NTD.com.

The fake bills are actually used to train Chinese banks tellers in countering American currency, with the Chinese writing on the bills translating to “bill used for counting practice” and “not to be used for real currency.”

The fake bills can even be bought online, with one website St. George News found selling a batch of 100 fake $20 bills for around $9.

Anyone who encounters the fake Chinese counting bills is asked to contact the St. George Police Department as 435-674-4300.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • Comment December 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    no way i’d accept one of those. The cashiers should’ve at least brought it to their managers.

  • Real Life December 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    What were the clerks smoking?

    • KR567 December 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      What makes you think anybody was smoking anything at all.

      • Real Life December 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

        Ummmm, the Chinese writing all over the bill there Einstein.

        • Comment December 4, 2018 at 11:18 pm


        • KR567 December 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

          Oh so only someone smoking would do that eh Sherlock ?

    • Happy Commenter December 4, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      3.2 weed

  • ladybugavenger December 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Well, being a cashier, in general, is a robotic job. They just block everything out and go through the motions. It all becomes a blur. Why? Because its repetitive and customers, well, customers,,,,you just have to stand there because, God forbid, you say something to them that they find offensive and then they complain to management. Watch when you go to Walmart…..zombies

  • KR567 December 4, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Wal-Mart isnt the only buisness with that problem…evidently you dont get around much

  • Red2Blue310 December 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Target was the target.

  • xbcmc059 December 4, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    This not only is against the law, but it’s just plain wong.

  • Carpe Diem December 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Gee for a few hundred dollars, you can spend years on a free vacation thanks to Uncle Sam.
    Catch you the first, or third time? Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  • Mike P December 5, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Well, makes sense to me. Everything else is made in China.

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