UPSHUR COUNTY (KLTV) - Kenneth Rhodes didn't know that he had counterfeit money in his pocket until he tried to buy gas with it.
"The ladies told me, 'Mr. Rhodes, this is a counterfeit bill,'" Rhodes said. "We're friends, so I thought she was just messing with me."
But it was no joke. The fifty dollar bill was part of the change from Rhodes' fireworks stand in Diana, so he immediately wanted to test the rest of what he had.
"My wife went in and got some other of our bills, and we tested them, and we had two counterfeit bills," Rhodes said. "They had the same serial number on them, and both of them were counterfeit. So we lost 100 dollars."
Rhodes took the money to the bank, where his suspicions were confirmed.
The Handy Mart in Diana is dealing with the same thing. "When the owner was doing the paperwork on Monday morning, she came across it, and of course when it went to the bank, the bank caught it," said Handy Mart manager Destiny Hart.
Hart says the cashier who took the money doesn't remember who used it. She also says that the only way to make sure counterfeiters are stopped is for victims to do something about it.
"I encourage any vendor that if you get those bills, and you have the opportunity to press charges. If they knew and they pass that bill, then they need to pay for what they're doing," Hart said.
Rhodes doesn't remember where his bad bills came from either, but he says in the future, he'll be a lot more careful.
"They told me to actually take the time to look at the bill, cause I don't have a lot of feeling in my hands, and to use the pen that they have."
Rhodes says his business isn't the only thing affected by the counterfeit money. This year, twenty percent of the profits from his fireworks stand were going into a scholarship fund.