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Tampa Neighbors Use Nextdoor to Fight Back Against Counterfeiters at Yard Sale

Written by Anne Dreshfield

As the weather warms up, more neighbors are hosting garage and yard sales.

Unfortunately, that also means that counterfeiters are out in full force, attempting to trick neighbors into taking fake money.

With the Nextdoor’s help, neighbors are fighting back to keep their communities safe. When David B., a neighbor in Tampa, Florida found a suspicious $20 bill in his wallet during his neighborhood-wide garage sale, he acted quickly to keep his neighbors on high alert. He quickly sent out an Urgent Alert via text message to the entire neighborhood warning everyone of the suspect and to be on the lookout.

The responses flooded in: at least four other neighbors also found counterfeit money in their wallets.

One neighbor managed to snap a photo of the suspect’s license plate number, and others pieced together a full description of him. They took that information to the police, who were able to make an arrest within 24 hours. David says that Nextdoor made all the difference in helping his neighbors stay informed and share critical information with each other and the police.

“Had Nextdoor not been there,” David says. “this guy just wouldn’t have been caught.”

The fake $20 David received at the yard sale. Police later arrested the man who was using them to purchase items.

The fake $20 David received at the yard sale. Police arrested the man who was using them to purchase items.

Counterfeiting is on the rise. Police say there are a few ways to keep yourself safe, including:

  • Take a close look at the image on the bill. Figures will often look flatter and less realistic than a real dollar bill.
  • Hold the bill up to the light. This will reveal a watermark. If there is no watermark, chances are the bill is counterfeit.
  • Watch for blurry lines. Real bills will have crisp image edges and lines.
  • Keep an eye out for red and blue threading in the paper. This is a subtle difference in real bills versus fake ones. Counterfeit bills may have red and gold printed on the paper, rather than being threaded throughout.

Originally reported by ABC Tampa.

Do you have a story about how you have used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

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