GASTONIA, N.C. -- Police departments throughout the Charlotte region continue to find cases of people using counterfeit money.

Gastonia Police reported three cases in a 48-hour span involving counterfeit bills. Rock Hill Police reported similar cases at the start of the holiday season.

Rock Hill detectives said as more money exchanged hands during the holiday shopping season, it gave more opportunities for counterfeiters to strike.

The U.S. Secret Service reported more than $147 million in counterfeit money is in circulation throughout the United States.

To avoid getting exploited, experts advised people to look out for blurry borders, broken presidential portraits, or missing watermarks. Also, pay attention to red and blue hairs in real money, as well as a security strip visible under UV light.