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Fake $20 bills spread in Florence during Rhododendron Festival

Police are warning businesses and citizens in Florence after counterfeit money circulated over the Rhododendron Festival weekend.

Posted: May 24, 2019 5:00 PM
Updated: May 24, 2019 6:44 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. -- Police are warning businesses and citizens in Florence after counterfeit money circulated over the Rhododendron Festival weekend.

Florence Police Commander John Pitcher said at least five fake $20 bills turned up that were used to buy goods. The bills are clearly marked “replica” and for “motion picture use.”

"It's a busy time. They didn't have the time to be as observant as they usually are and they took that money, and it hurt their bottom dollar," Pitcher said.

People are advised to look closely at bills before accepting them. Pitcher said those responsible could face theft and forgery charges. 

KEZI 9 News found multiple websites where people can buy the phony cash. Sellers state that their products should not be used for anything other than its intended purpose as Prop/Play Money. 

Pitcher said it's frustrating that it's being used for no good. 

"We got small businesses here, and that hurts. It hurts for those to be out there," Pitcher said.

Florence resident Aprill Graham said she feels for the victims.

"We wouldn't want anybody to lose money, especially during the Rhody days and the big festival time," Graham said. "Small businesses I'm sure can't really take that hit like a bigger corporation."

KEZI 9 News also heard from a woman claiming to be a vendor at the Eugene Saturday Market who said she also fell victim two weeks ago.

If you have information or questions, contact Florence police at 541-997-3515.

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