WELLS — Police in Wells are warning merchants and the public to be on the outlook for counterfeit cash that is being passed at a number of locations in Wells and other places in York County.

Officers are investigating five separate incidents of $20, $50 and $100 counterfeit bills being accepted by businesses in Wells last month, said Lt. Gerald Congdon of the Wells Police Department.

Congdon said that on July 18, a bank in Wells reported to police that two counterfeit $20 bills were mixed in with two separate deposits from several local businesses. Also, a local business discovered that it had accepted a counterfeit $20 bill on July 20, while another area business accepted a counterfeit $100 bill on July 21.

“On July 26, a local business discovered they had accepted a counterfeit $50 bill and a counterfeit $100 bill,” Congdon said. “On July 30, a local business discovered they had accepted two counterfeit $20 bills.”

According to Congdon, merchants and members of the public should pay extra attention to cash they are taking in.

“If in doubt, compare the bill to another for discrepancies,” he said. “If the paper feels funny or if the bill appears to have been bleached, notify the police to inspect the bill prior to accepting it. If you look close enough and compare it with a known authentic bill you should easily be able to detect the phony ones.”

He said that just because someone passes off a counterfeit bill as being authentic does not mean that person is even aware of the fact.


“Hold onto the bill, call the police and if the customer leaves in a hurry, attempt to obtain their vehicle registration number,” Congdon said. “If the bill is counterfeit, the officer will seize the bill and forward it to the U.S. Secret Service Office in Portland.”

Other counterfeit bills have turned up recently in other towns and cities in York County, police say

It is my understanding that various towns in York County are seeing similar counterfeit bills. This information is meant to caution people to look a little closer at the bills they accept.

Counterfeiting is considered a federal crime and if convicted, counterfeiters could receive a sentence of 20 years in federal prison or face up to a $250,000 fine.

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