The Riverhead Police Department has received multiple reports of people using or attempting to use counterfeit money in recent weeks, police said in a press release issued Monday.
The incidents occurred in multiple stores along Route 58, police said, and in each case suspects were reported working in groups of either all black males, all black females or a combination of both.
Police said the bills were low quality and “easily detectable as counterfeit,” as long as preventable measures are taken correctly. They urge businesses to familiarize themselves and their staffers with the color, clarity, quality and safety features of American currency so they can detect fake bills.
Tips for detecting counterfeit money can be found on the U.S. Treasure website, police said. Additionally, devices that help differentiate between real and fake bills, such as the Dri Mark Products Tri-Test Ultraviolet Counterfeit Detection System, can be purchased.
Police advise those who suspect a counterfeit note or have information about counterfeiting activity to report it immediately to their local police department or the U.S. Secret Service.
The Riverhead Police Department also issues steps business staff can take if they believe they detected a counterfeit bill:
- Do not put yourself in danger.
- Do not return the bill to the passer.
- Delay the passer with some excuse, if possible.
- Observe the passer’s description – and their companions’ descriptions – and write down their vehicle license plate numbers if you can.
- Contact your local police department OR call your local U.S. Secret Service Office.
- Write your initials and date in the white border area of the suspected counterfeit note.
- Do not handle the counterfeit note more than necessary. Place it inside a protective cover, a plastic bag, or envelope to protect it until you place it in the hands of an identified police officer or Secret Service Agent.
- Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a Secret Service Special Agent, or mail it to your nearest U.S. Secret Service field office.