The Bangor Police Department is investigating reports of counterfeit bills being passed in the city.

What Bills Are Being Reported?

Sergeant Jason McAmbley says the bills have been turning up over the past couple of weeks in Bangor with multiple businesses having reported receiving $100 bills that are counterfeit. McAmbley says they have received five reports in just the past two weeks.

How Do We Know If It's a Fake?

Recognizing a counterfeit bill is challenging because they're often pretty close to the originals. But there are some tell-tale signs to watch out for. According to Cornell University, the first thing to do is to run your fingers over the bill and compare it to another bill of the same denomination, that was made around the same time. If the bill in question feels too light or the printing is flat, rather than the slightly raised printing of a real bill, then you have reason to be suspicious. This is not fool-proof, however, because if a bill is older, the printing on the real bill may not feel as raised as on a new one.

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Check for other distinguishing security features, like the Liberty Bell in an inkwell that appears on the front of a $100 bill, or the Eagle that's sort of a background image on the front of a $20. More information on how to spot fake currency can be found on the website of the United States Secret Service.

Sergeant McAmbley suggests getting a counterfeit money detector pen, which can be used to mark the bills and help determine whether they're genuine. Those pens can be found at office supply stores and 'big box' stores.

What Do We Do If We Think We Have a Counterfeit Bill?

Anyone who believes they may have received a counterfeit bill is encouraged to end the transaction and contact their local police immediately.

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