Petal Chamber of Commerce warns business owners of counterfeit bills circulating the area

PETAL, Miss.(WHLT) – Businesses in Petal are being targeted with counterfeit $100 bills.

A Facebook post from the Petal Chamber of Commerce says at least three businesses in the area have received counterfeit money in the past month.

Valerie Wilson with the Petal Chamber of Commerce says one of the businesses were targeted twice. She says, “”First of all, she had been passed a counterfeit one hundred dollar bill in Hattiesburg, at her store in Hattiesburg, then she recently opened one up here in Petal, and here comes the same guy with the counterfeit one hundred dollar bill.”

We were able to speak with Sonja Hopper is owns Merle Norman. She owns two stores, one in Petal another in Hattiesburg. She says both stores had an encounter with the fake bills. The first time she found out she was a victim, she was making a deposit into the bank.

“We received a counterfeit one hundred dollar bill, and we took it to the bank and they made us aware of that because we were not real aware what they looked like.”

Sonja says the second time she received a fake $100 bill, she was able to detect it with a money detector pen.

“We were able to take the pen at that time and mark it and recognize the fact that it was a counterfeit bill. We called that to the person’s attention, and made them aware we could not take that money.”

The Petal Chamber of Commerce says another way to prevent being a victim of counterfeit money is by installing cameras inside and outside of your business. They say the pens don’t always work, so purchasing surveillance equipment can help police identify the suspects who provided the money.

“We are asking that all of our businesses invest in indoor and outdoor video cameras so that together we can put an end to some of this crime.”

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