Wells police are warning people to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills, after fake money was discovered at several local businesses in July.

Lt. Gerald Congdon on Thursday said counterfeit $20 bills were found on five separate occasions in Wells last month and similar situations have been reported in nearby towns.

On July 18, a local bank discovered two counterfeit $20 bills that had been mixed in with two separate deposits from local businesses. Two days later, a local business reported it had accepted another counterfeit $20 bill.

Three other local businesses also reported finding counterfeit $50 and $100 bills, according to police.

Police advised businesses and residents to pay attention to the money they receive and, if the paper feels unusual or the bill appears to have been bleached, to call police.

“If you look close enough and compare it with a known authentic bill you should easily be able to detect the phony ones,” police said in a press release.

Police also advised businesses to try to obtain a vehicle registration number if a customer uses a bill suspected to be fake and quickly leaves the business.

If a bill is determined to be counterfeit, it is seized by a police officer and forwarded to the Secret Service Office in Portland.

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