More cold, hard counterfeit money


Local authorities are again warning the public about counterfeit currencies in circulation.

New York Mills police say they recently arrested a Utica man after allegedly passing counterfeit money at a local gas station. Officials were called to Cliff’s Local Market on Commercial Drive after a customer paid the till with a fake $ 50 bill. Ultimately, the police were given a description of the man and his vehicle and shortly afterwards he was stopped, the police said. This man, 32-year-old Rafael Morales from Utica, owned three other fake 50s, police said. He is accused of an administrative offense of possession of a third-degree counterfeit instrument.

Last week Oneida City police warned the public about counterfeit funds. Those special bills had words’Copy money“Written in fine print that police said could be used to provide clues about potential victims.

In the New York Mills incident, police told WIBX that the bills contained several unique indicators that would show a red flag of authenticity. First, there was no security thread (that thin embedded strip that you can see from top to bottom when you hold it up to a light). Second, there was a problem with the appearance of the watermarks. And those bills felt different from a typical banknote, Chief Bradley Fanklin told us.

After all, the print on the back of one of the four confiscated fakes from the 1950s was actually upside down. Another dead giveaway, said Franklin.

Counterfeit $ 50 bills seized by New York Mills Police in June 2021 (via NY Mills PD)

So why did the cashier accept the bill, especially if it didn’t “feel” right?

When the cashier marked the banknote with a forgery check pen, it was somehow marked as an authentic banknote, he said. After carefully examining the bill, the store staff decided to call the police.

On Facebook, the New York Mills Police advised:

We would like to warn everyone that counterfeit banknotes have been widely used in the past few weeks. Please check all major currencies you may come across and do not accept anything that you think is counterfeit.

Remember, “big” currencies don’t just mean 50s and 100s. In the warning from the Oneida City Police mentioned above, the counterfeit banknotes that were leaked contain 100s, but also fake 20 dollar bills.

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