Syracuse and Camillus police visited a Camillus convenience store to give them a warning – be mindful of counterfeit large currency being passed around in the neighborhood. And, the issue has gotten the attention of U.S. senator.
According to New York Dem. Sen. Charles Schumer, the Syracuse Police department noted there is roughly $100,000 worth of bad bills floating around. It’s a level, he said, the police department has never seen before.
Schumer said the problem is an economic one. It’s the kind of problem that costs the local stores– Churchill’s Restaurant and Kasey’s Kitchen - a lot of money, which is being taken out of business people’s pockets.
He said people take the money to the bank, only to be told they can’t take it. This causes people to be out of money, and is a real issue for local merchants in Syracuse. They have no recourse when trying to deposit the money in the bank.
While businesses have done all they’ve can to combat the issue, it’s a problem that’s proven tricky to move past.
According to Christian Burnell of Byme Dairy, they use a counterfeit pen on bills that are $50 or larger. Each register is equipped with the pen. The retailor puts a mark on the bill, using the pen and it alters the color. Burnell said he wouldn’t say for sure if anyone has ever been caught passing counterfeit bills after the pen was used on them.
Schumer said businesses need additional help recognizing the fake bills when they’re passed, not after the money changes hands and affects their body line. He said in order to eliminate the counterfeit currency source, the feds must act now.
Local police have said the Secret Service, the agency in charge of investigating reports of counterfeit money, needs to start looking at this issue. According to the Secret Service, there is about $3 million of counterfeit money circulating in the Long Island area, with an increase of $1 million from 2013 to 2014.
Thomas Winn, Camillus police chief, said the resources being used to investigate the counterfeit money crimes is taking away time that could be spent looking at and solving other crimes happening in the neighborhood. These are crimes, he said, are considered more important to residents.
The scam became a real issue in 2013 after the introduction of the updated $100 bill. Most business owners are used to dealing in smaller currencies - $20, $10, $5 and $1 - and are not familiar with the newer $100 bill, making them more susceptible to these counterfeit bills.
On top of that, three are three styles of the $100 bill, which is making it even harder for business owners to know what’s genuine and what’s bogus.
Schumer said it’s important that there is an increase in efforts and personnel by the Secret Service to focus on this crime in the central New York area – to work in conjunction with local authorities and keep communication lines open. The Press Release from Senator Schumer can be seen over here.
In the mean time we recommend checking out our selection of money detectors for reliable counterfeit detection to protect you and your business from ending up with fake money. Also be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest stories on counterfeit bills and more.