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BBB warning of counterfeit bills and holiday decoration scams in Capital City

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 8:22 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over the past few weeks 10/11 NOW has been tracking scams throughout the Capital City and now the Better Business Bureau is seeing an uptick of counterfeit bills during the holiday season.

Counterfeit cash isn’t a new issue and a lot of the time it can be pretty hard pin-pointing a fake bill. Before you spend some cash this holiday season on gifts, the BBB is warning Nebraskans to be cautious.

Related: Lincoln Police arrest man in connection to counterfeit bills

According to the BBB, employees working alone are normally the one’s who are targeted the most. They also say one of the bigger issues are those smaller purchases that are made with large bills, that way the buyer can maximize the amount of change they get back.

Being able to identify what’s real and what isn’t can be what prevents someone from being scammed.

“You should look to see if the bill denomination in the bottom right corner has color shifting ink, many of these bills will use a watermark that is actually a replica of the face of the bill and so anytime you see smudging or blurred edges that’s usually a sign that a counterfeit bill is being handed over,” said Josh Planos, with the Better Business Bureau.

Over the past few months, the BBB says that Scheels and Old Navy have seen counterfeit bills and garage sales are also often targeted.

More: Fake $100 bill used at Lincoln garage sale

It’s also around the time a lot of people have started shopping for holiday lights and decorations and while these products are getting more expensive, it can be easy to fall victim to scams.

Sticker shock has caused nearly everything to rise in price and holiday lights are no exception. It can be easy to look at that deal on the internet or on social media and quickly jump on it, but it’s important to keep in mind that it may be too good to be true.

The BBB says normally when it comes to these holiday light and decoration scams you’ll get the product, but it won’t work correctly, or it won’t arrive at all. The best way to avoid scams when it comes to holiday lights and decorations is always using a credit card, which will give you the option to dispute fraudulent charges.

The BBB also said it’s important not to make quick purchases from social media. Another important feature to these online retailers is contact information. These companies should have a telephone number, an email address and preferably a physical address.

“Advertisers are preying on your buying habits and your tendency to jump at the best possible deal, the quickest possible deal at the lowest price. It’s best to do your research and if it seems this deal is too good to be true, ask if this a realistic price point for the quantity of lights I’m looking to purchase,” explained Planos.

There have already been a number of reports around the Midwest of holiday decoration scams and the BBB only expects these scams to increase the closer we get to the holidays.

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