HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point police have arrested eight people believed to be involved in the latest string of counterfeit money incidents at several High Point stores.
As of early Wednesday morning, police only had seven of the eight suspects in custody. But, officers arrested Todd Richard Kaufman, 43, later in the day.
Lead case detective Richie Jones of the High Point Police Department said late Tuesday night, police officers arrested Michael Dacotah Link, 25, when they found him trespassing in Thomasville.
The eight suspects have been charged with two state counts of felony counterfeiting and also face federal charges, now that the Secret Service is working on the case in collaboration with the local task force.
Detective Jones said the eight suspects were creating the counterfeit money from hotels all across the Triad. He said the people involved were using counterfeit money to purchase items at stores. They then would return those items to get real cash back.
Police have not determined whether this string of incidents is connected in any way to a counterfeit scheme involving a dozen High Point stores in July. Jones said regardless, incidents involving counterfeit money have become more prevalent lately in the Triad. He said both the economy and increasingly savvy counterfeiters are factors in the increase.
To combat schemes like this, the Federal Reserve has issued a new $100 bill. It has nine security features, including a blue 3-D security ribbon in which the bells and hundreds move when tilted back and forth. That ribbon is woven into the bill and therefore is difficult to reproduce. Another new feature is the color-shifting ink on the bill's large number 100s. A real $100 bill's numbers will change color from green to black when moved in the light.
Jones said people who will be holiday shopping in the near future should be particularly cautious about the money they are both giving and receiving.
The U.S. Secret Service suggests the following protocol, if someone notices he or she has received a counterfeit bill:
- Do not return it to the passer.
- Delay the passer if possible.
- Observe the passer's description, as well as that of any companions, and the license plate numbers of any vehicles used.
- Contact your local police department or U.S. Secret Service field office. These numbers can be found on the inside front page of your local telephone directory.
- Write your initials and the date in the white border areas of the suspect note.
- Limit the handling of the note. Carefully place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope.
- Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a U.S. Secret Service special agent.
People with information on the individuals suspected of involvement in the felony counterfeiting scheme in High Point are encouraged to call the High Point Crime Stoppers hotline at 336-889-4000.
WFMY News 2