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Smaller bills being passed in new counterfeiting scheme

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Counterfeit cash is being passed at an alarming rate throughout the City of Utica and much of central New York.

The person making the funny money is using a new method in order to stay under the radar. Gone are the days of flashing mostly fake fifties and hundred-dollar bills. Businesses throughout central New York have taken counterfeit tens, fives and even singles. Smaller denomination bills generally aren't suspect and therefore rarely tested for authenticity by cashiers and other businesses.

The U.S. Secret Service is helping Utica Police and other local agencies track the sudden explosion of counterfeit cash. An admittedly difficult task, as the minute a counterfeiter gets successfully unloads a bill, that bill often makes an endless series of stops.

"Because for the most part what you have is, you have an unknowing person that received the money and a lot of times, they don't know who passed it to them. Who knows who passed it, what the transaction was, and then that's not to say the person that passed it knew that it was counterfeit, so it's difficult to track this money," says Sgt. Steve Hauck, of the Utica Police Department.

Police urge store and business owners to protect their cash, by using a special pen that detects counterfeit bills and by testing larger denomination bills and those that feel different from authentic bills.

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