Counterfeit money operation busted inside Ramada Inn hotel room in Fairview Park

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio - Two men in Fairview Park were arrested and charged after the Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service noticed something unusual.

Bruce Ferreiro and Johannser Paredes were charged with fifth degree felony charges for forgery and possession of criminal tools after they were caught running a low tech counterfeiting operation out of a Ramada Inn hotel room.  

RELATED: 12 people indicted in credit card skimmer scheme that involved several Northeast Ohio gas pumps

"I imagine they probably go from place to place, somewhat transient, they do this for a little while at one point, move on to the next place before the bills can be traced back," said Sgt. Justin Brewer with Fairview Park police. 

Officers ended up removing about $2,900 of fake bills from the room.

"We don't know the scale of this in Fairview Park. We don't know how many of these made it to circulation," Sergeant Brewer said. "It might change hands 3 times before somebody realizes they have a fake."

The men were using three real, scanned $50 bills for all of their copies. 

"The person that is stuck with it, is stuck with it. They're out the money," said Sgt. Brewer.

The question is, how do you know if you're using counterfeit money? How can you tell the difference between what's real and what's fake?

"There are a few things you can look at. Generally, feeling the document is going to be your first indicator it's not authentic. And looking at the duplicates, you can tell, this one looks different than that one," Sgt. Brewer explained. 

He said if you think you have money that may be fake, it's best to report that to police and the Secret Service.

For more tips on how to tell if a bill is legit, check out the detailed information from the Secret Service.

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