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Counterfeit money in Montana: 'Feels fake, looks real'

'Feels fake, looks real': Thousands of dollars in counterfeit $100 bills dropped in Billings streets
Posted at 8:22 AM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 10:31:58-05

BILLINGS — On Monday morning, multiple people driving near the intersection of Jackson Street and Morgan Avenue were in for a surprise when they found thousands of dollars in $100 bills in the street and on the sidewalks.

“They were everywhere. They were just flying around,” Violet Kober, one of the drivers, said on Wednesday. “There was a whole bunch of cars pulled over and everyone was grabbing these $100 bills, and they were just lying there on the ground so I said okay, ‘I’m going to grab a few, too, myself.'”

Kober believes there were 100 to 200 $100 bills on the street.

"People were picking up handfuls of them,” Kober said.

Lt. Matt Lennick said the police department received a call on Monday from someone who lives right by where all the fake money was. When police arrived, Lennick said there were around 18 cars there picking up the counterfeit cash.

“We’ve collected in total 42 (bills),” Lennick said. “They have no watermark, and the blue line is not the same as what a real hundred-dollar bill is.”

The serial number is also the same on each bill and police are asking if you have found any, to turn it in.

According to Lennick, police do not know who left the money behind or what the motive could be. The agency also does not know how much money was created or left in the streets.

“I don’t know if someone was just trying to get rid of it, just trying to hide it, if someone was trying to cause us a lot of work on the back end of things,” Lennick said.

He also said it is important for anyone collecting money at this time to be aware.

Lakia Pugh is a manager at the Guadalajara in the Heights. She said it would be easy to believe the money was real during a rush, so it is important to remain diligent during this time.

“Making sure that everybody’s checking their bills when they see a hundred,” Pugh said. “It feels fake, but it looks real at the same time.”