The Sedalia Police Department is reporting that they have received several reports of counterfeit money being used at area businesses.

Sedalia Police say suspects attempted to pass phony $100 bills at 19 businesses in the area. And only a few businesses were able to identify the bills as fake because the counterfeit money is passing the marker test, although it appears electronic devices designed to catch counterfeit money are identifying the phony $100 bills as counterfeit.

The counterfeit money does not have the watermark on them either, so that's another way to check and see if the $100 bill in your hands is phony or real.

Police say the suspects are believed to be driving a 2010 black Lexus with Illinois plates. And urge all local businesses to be especially vigilant and report any suspected illegal activity to the police department as soon as possible.

The Federal Reserve says, "The best way to determine whether a note is genuine is to rely on the security features, such as the watermark and security thread." And refers people who would like to learn more about our money's security features to check out the U.S. Currency Education Program website here.

If you get stuck with funny money there's not much you can do. The Federal Reserve says you can't exchange the counterfeit money for real money, so that money is just lost. Additionally, it's illegal to knowingly try to pass counterfeit money onto someone else.

The Sedalia Police Department says their investigation into the phony $100 bills is ongoing.

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