Tupper Lake village police warn of counterfeit cash

TUPPER LAKE — Keep a look out for crispy cash — it might be fake.

Tupper Lake Police Department Chief Eric Proulx says his department received $85 in counterfeit bills from several businesses in town this past weekend.

At first glance, the money looks fine, he said, but upon handling or inspection, it is easily recognizable as a fake.

“You would notice just by the feel of it,” Proulx said. “It’s like when you put money in the dryer and it all comes out crispy, but even more so.”

He also said there’s no raised ink on the bills — the texture real money has to prevent counterfeits like these.

“It’s not good quality print,” he said.

He said counterfeit detector pens identify them as forgeries.

He said employees at the businesses that got these bogus bucks knew they were taking fake cash, but didn’t want to confront the person. He said they brought in nine bills — two $20s, four $10s and two $5s.

Proulx said the fraudulent cash issue may be widespread throughout the North Country. Last week, the Massena Police Department reported it was seeing counterfeit money, and Proulx said Monday, Nov. 22 that the bills there have the same serial numbers as the bills in Tupper Lake.

The serial numbers are all the same — ME 92110295 A on the $10s, ME 00677517 B on the $5s and IF 34658448 F on the $20s.

“If businesses receive it in front of a person, if they don’t want to get into a confrontation with people over it, that’s understandable,” Proulx said.

He said if someone knows they are being given counterfeit cash they should get a good description of the person giving them the knockoff dough and possibly try to write down license plate numbers and a description of their vehicle.

People can report fake cash to the Tupper Lake Police Department at 518-483-1219.

Last year, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid police investigated incidents of counterfeit money, in March and September, respectively.

Some of the fake bills in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid were movie props, and others had red stamps on them.