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Local teens caught shopping with counterfeit bills

Law enforcement officials say making convincing counterfeit money is extremely difficult.

On Sunday, teenagers were caught at Wal-Mart trying to buy electronics with counterfeit $10 bills.

Using counterfeit money to shop is illegal. But that’s precisely what local teens attempted to do at Wal-Mart over the weekend.

According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, a teenage boy was confronted as he was trying to buy Sony airpods with counterfeit $10 bills. The teen admitted to getting the fraudulent money from a friend who had made a successful purchase with similar bills the day before.

Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez says the teens are between 16 and 18 years old and referred to them as “typical high school kids” who thought they could get away with the crime by using smaller bills.

“It's really hard to do a really good counterfeit, especially with an inkjet or even a laser jet printer," he said. "That it's just it's really hard to have the paper the material, the feel of it, is, it's really hard to reproduce that. So a lot of times they'll slide those that they're not looking for the $100 bills, or slide that $10 in with a couple others to mask it.”

Martinez said he did not have information on whether the money was printed locally. He said that, as with all counterfeit money crimes, the case has been handed over to the Secret Service. Passing counterfeit money is a federal crime, but charges can vary depending on the scope of the crime.

Representatives from the Secret Service, which has an office in Salt Lake City, did not respond to a request for comment.