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LA MESA -- For at least the second time in a few weeks, a local merchant has been hit by counterfeiters.
Minh Nguyen, owner of Slides Gourmet Burgers, on University Avenue said one of his clerks inadvertently accepted a $100 bill that turned out to be bogus.
"Now we're out $90 dollars,'' Nguyen said. "That hurts a business.''
Nguyen said he contacted police but doesn't expect to recover his money on this incident.
"There's not much they can do,'' he said.
Last month, Cosmos Coffee Cafe on La Mesa Boulevard was hit by counterfeit $20 bills that looked and felt good enough to fool counter clerks who were already warned about counterfeiting. Cosmos had earlier been hit by bogus $50 bills. In fact, that store has stopped accepting any bill over the $20 denomination, a fact that whomever is passing the bogus bills was apparently aware of.
Merchants are training counter clerks to hold bills up to the light and look for the subtle printing techniques the U.S. Treasury has added to bills to help combat counterfeiting.
But in this printing arms race, the counterfeiters continue to get better. This may be a war that only ends for good if merchants require all purchases with credit and debit cards -- not a likely move in the immediate future.