From holding money up to the light, to marking it with a pen, retailers have long been looking for counterfeit bills. But, as crooks get more savvy, so are some local store owners, making sure they don't pay for someone else's crime.
Before any bill buys a bloom at Log Cabin Florist, it's scanned by a machine, making sure the money isn't funny.
"We have been hit several times with large bills that were not good," said shop owner, Jerry Beckwith.
Beckwith says he was burned by bogus bills over a year ago. So, he went online and found the scanning machines. Under a light, each real denomination shows a colored line in a different place.
On the $20, the line is green and on the left. On the $10, it's a yellowish line that goes through the "e" in "We." And, there's a whole chart explaining what to look for on every bill except for the $1.
"Now, if you were to bleach out a $5 bill and print a $20 on it, it would be the wrong color line on the bill," explained Beckwith.
And, Jerry's not alone. Boutique Spoiled Rotten on Rosedale Highway is protecting all of its bangles and bling. The owner says their money scanning machine is ordered and on its way.
Kern Federal Credit Union C.E.O., DeAnn Straub, says while there hasn't been a rash of counterfeit money she's aware of, old methods of detecting fakes, like the pens with ink that's supposed to change color if the bill is not real, no longer work.
"They are not reliable. It's not worth the investment," said Straub.
Criminals are getting more high-tech, bleaching small bills and printing larger ones, or they are managing to recreate the ever-changing government security features.
"There's cheaper and cheaper sophisticated equipment out there for the bad guys," said Straub.
But now, the greens going out of Log Cabin Florist are as good as the green coming in.
"When someone hands you a $50 or $100 bill, you certainly don't want to lose that. So, yeah, it's a little backup," said Beckwith.
We called the F.B.I. to see if they've seen an increase in counterfeiting, but they did not return our calls. Straub says store owners should also visit the Department of Treasury website and become very familiar with money so they can better spot a fake.