The holiday shopping season's set to kick into high gear this week, but businesses need to be on the lookout for counterfeiters trying to steal some of that holiday cheer. Our Solomon Syed tells us what local businesses are doing to stop the flow of fake money.
COLONIE, N.Y. -- It's the most wonderful time of the year, for counterfeiters. Over the next few weeks, the Capital Region will be flush with fake money.
"These are crimes of opportunity and there's no better opportunity than right now, Black Friday," said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
His office, along with the Secret Service, held a special training seminar at Colonie Center Monday, showing retailers the latest in counterfeiting technology and how to stop it.
"An alert, that there are some 20s and 100s and 50s to look out for," said Mike Laiacona, owner of Time and Time Again watch repair boutique.
The training's so detailed, our cameras weren't allowed to film during the Secret Service's presentation out of fear we'd tip off the bad guys and help them cash in on their primary target: Real money.
"There are organized retail syndicates from outside our community that travel here with the express intention of passing along bad money," said Soares.
"They think that if they give us a 50 or a 100, they're gonna get change back, so that the big stores won't see that it's a counterfeit," said Nequila Burch, manager of Auntie Anne's Pretzel Stand.
"We are taking a little extra precaution, just because the crowds are going to be larger during the holiday season," said Jillian Duarte, manager of Glennpeter Jewelers.
In some cases, criminal forgers are able to replicate the exact feel and look of treasury notes, even down to the serial number, color and insignias.
"A lot of that is because of the technology, the copiers have incredible resolution," said Soares.
As YNN reported in October, counterfeiters got a head start this year, stealing more than a thousand dollars worth of merchandise at several locations in Colonie. Monday's seminar was at the top of many retailers' Christmas list.
"We make the dough, so we know the dough," said Burch.
If you missed Monday's training session, the DA says give his office a call and they'll be happy to get you in for another one.