Authorities are warning residents about fake $100 and $20 bills being passed as cash in Mid-Michigan.

Det. Scott Maguire with Montrose Township Police Department said on May 22 a customer tried to use one of the bills at Riverside Market in Montrose, but the store clerk realized it was a counterfeit bill.

The customer was embarrassed, according to Maguire, and purchased the items using a different form of payment. The bill was then turned over to police.

Maguire said he received a call from the daughter of the gentleman who tried to use the fake bill, claiming it was meant to be a joke.

“The daughter initially received the bill as a joke from a customer at her workplace, then passed the joke onto her father,” Maguire said.

Maguire said the man never looked past the number or which president was on the bill and stuck it in his wallet.

Someone tried to use a fake $20 bill at a gas station in Montrose on May 25.

"The lady really didn't know and she was just as surprised as we were," said Tony Daoud, owner of the gas station.

Now, Maguire is warning residents the fake bills can be purchased online.

In March, one of the bills was successfully used to pay for merchandise at a Dollar General in Montrose Township.

“For people who buy and sell on Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, or even receiving money at a garage sale, be very careful especially on the larger bills,” Maguire said.

Maguire said scammers tend to make smaller purchases, such as only $10, and then pay with a fake $100 bill.

“If you don’t catch the fake, you are giving them $90 in actual currency,” Maguire said.

There are resources online on how to spot a fake if you plan on accepting cash.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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