Counterfeit money is making its way around East Nashville and tricking restaurant employees.

We've all seen that pen restaurants, banks, and stores use to make sure your cash is real.

“I would’ve trusted it if I had it, but apparently these ones going around are beyond that," Jesse Hamilton, Village Pub & Beer Garden owner said.

Hamilton said someone gave them a fake $100 bill on Saturday. His employee found out the hard way when he tried to deposit it at the bank.

“It just doesn’t feel good that somebody would be coming from our area taking advantage of businesses like that and just really outright theft," Hamilton said.

The Secret Service office in Nashville showed News4 how to spot counterfeit bills.

Special Agent in Charge Todd Hudson said the scammers are using real money, but changing the dollar amount.

They remove the ink and print the new amount on the old bill.

“When it’s being exchanged, it feels good because it’s the real paper. The pen that is used in the marketplace is not a guarantee that bill is, in fact, genuine," Hudson said.

Hudson said if you think someone hands you fake money:

  • Hold onto it
  • Contact law enforcement
  • Give them details about who gave it to you

It's enough for Hamilton to stop taking bills over $20 and consider going cash free.

“If this is something that technology is allowing people to get better at, I want to be proactive about it and not get burned again," Hamilton said.

Read more at WSMV's website.