The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 17, 2014

Two men pass fake $50 bills in East Buffalo Township

— LEWISBURG — Police are asking the public to beware of fake money following two recent incidents of counterfeit $50 bills being passed at a local store, a troubling trend that officers say is occurring in counties surrounding Union as well.

Both incidents occurred last month at the Sunoco A-Plus station at Route 45 and Fairground Road in East Buffalo Township, said officer William Klinger, of the Buffalo Valley Regional Police.

Klinger said on the evenings of Jan. 19 and 20, two men paid with fake bills, each apparently acting alone in the incidents.

It turns out the $50 bills both had the same serial number, Klinger said, confirmed by the local bank the station uses. A money counter at the bank can detect fake bills, he said.

The station attendants also told police “the bills didn’t feel right,” noting they felt more like stiff linen than the pliable linen and cotton material from which paper money is made, he said.

Counterfeiting isn’t common in Union County, Klinger said. “It’s one of those things you may get one here and there,” but recently surrounding counties are reporting an uptick in the passing of fake money.

State police at Milton are assisting in the investigation, as is the Secret Service, which investigates counterfeiting cases, Klinger said.

The incidents signal that the rash of counterfeit money and checks has reached Union County, Klinger said. Law enforcement in Lycoming, Snyder and Northumberland counties began reporting cases in their jurisdictions last fall.

There are several ways to check whether the paper money in your hands is real. For instance, if you suspect a counterfeit bill, compare it with a genuine note of the same denomination and series. Pay attention to the quality of printing and paper — real money has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout — and look for differences, not similarities.

People who suspect they’ve come across counterfeit currency are asked to call the Buffalo Valley Regional Police at (570) 524-4302.

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