Secret Service warn of fake cash going around Tampa Bay area

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Phony money is going around the Bay area and authorities want to warn consumers and businesses to be on the lookout.

A local man said the counterfeit money looked so real, he was fooled by it. Marc Tesario was selling his IPhone 6 Plus on a popular app called Offer Up. He was contacted by a man. They met up and made the exchange in the parking lot at a Burger King.

Tesario said he had a gut feeling something wasn’t right. He checked the cash with a special marker, designed to indicate a fake, but it didn’t. Tesario said the money even felt real.

He noticed something was funny about the serial numbers when he got in his car.

“When we got in the car, that’s when I noticed the bills were all the same, the exact same. And that’s when I got out of the car to go get him again he took off on the motorcycle,” said Tesario.

The man got away with the phone.

Several stores in Brandon won’t take the fifties and hundreds because they’ve been scammed.

Secret Service agents said they’re seeing an increase in counterfeit cases around the Bay area. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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