Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime.

Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime.

Just ask whoever gets stuck with the fake bill.

The section of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Web site devoted to counterfeiting contains this: "There is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, but you will have pride in doing the 'right thing' to help combat counterfeiting."

Doing the right thing still meant that a Northland merchant was out $100 last week.

"I recently received information from a business that accepted a counterfeit $100 bill," police officer Scott Clinger, community liaison for the Northland area, wrote last week on the Northland Area Bizwatch, an anti-crime posting for Northland Area Business Association members and others.

"This is important because when the cashier used the counterfeit pen on the bill it showed up as being a good bill. It also had a watermark and a security thread. Upon close inspection it was determined that the watermark was Abraham Lincoln and the security thread read five dollars. It appears the bill was bleached and then reprinted with the one hundred dollar printing. They did tell me that the color looked a little faded.

"Please check all your denominations carefully."

What better time, Northland Area Business Association president Roseann Hicks figured, to have a presentation on counterfeiting, check fraud, identity theft and other topics of concern to business owners and managers.

Clinger is making arrangements for a representative of the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates cases of counterfeit currency, to be on hand for NABA's next monthly luncheon.

The event will take place on Tuesday, March 9, at Monaco's Palace and Catering, 4555 Cleveland Ave.

The doors open at 11:30, lunch is served at noon and the meeting is over by 1 p.m., Hicks said.

The cost is $20 per person and the event is open to anyone interested in attending.

"As a matter of fact we encourage businesses who aren't members and want to learn a little bit about what NABA does to come and have lunch with us," Hicks said.

The deadline for reservations is Friday, March 5. For reservations call Mark Higdon, NABA's membership services director, at 578-9787.

"'Given that funny money is floating around Northland, I think it makes fortuitous timing," Higdon said.

"We've heard from a lot of our members ... and we received some counterfeit money at Yogi's Hoagies," said Hicks, who manages the family restaurant. "It's a growing problem in a bad economy. People can't make money, so they print money. It's something that people really have to be educated about."

Also on tap for the March 9 meeting, Hicks said, will be an invitation to this year's first after hours gathering, to be held in April at the Westerville Golf Center on Schrock Road. The "family friendly" get-together is intended to kick off the annual golf outing campaign for NABA this summer.

"I think it's going to be fun," she said. "They've got a driving range there and putt-putt. Maybe somebody will actually teach me how to golf.

"It's NABA's biggest fundraising every year," Hicks added of the golf tournament. "We put a lot of work into it. We're looking for people who would like to help on the committee and we're looking for sponsors."