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Counterfeit bills showing up in Fargo area

By Helmut Schmidt / The Forum Counterfeit bills in several denominations are being passed in the city, Fargo police confirmed Sunday. Detective division Sgt. Carlos Nestler said bills ranging from fives to 100s have been passed in the city for th...

Funny money
Counterfeit bills have cropped up at several Fargo locations.

By Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

Counterfeit bills in several denominations are being passed in the city, Fargo police confirmed Sunday.

Detective division Sgt. Carlos Nestler said bills ranging from fives to 100s have been passed in the city for the last month.

“I don’t think all of them are related,” said Nestler. Two reports were made Sunday, one at a business in the 200 block of 4th St. North, and another in the 3400 block of 13th Avenue South, according to police dispatch logs.

Related: Jamestown police warn of counterfeit bills

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Patrol Sgt. Matt Christensen said there have been at least a half dozen reports of counterfeit 100s, 50s and 20s being passed in the city in the last week.

Much of the funny money is not very sophisticated, Nestler said.

“Some of the bills we’ve seen in the past week have been pretty noticeable that they aren’t real,” he said. “When people are taking them in a hurry, they don’t notice it.”

But they get noticed on a second look, he said, such as when managers pull excess cash from tills or make change.

Nestler urges business owners to work with their employees and train them on the security features to look for with currency of the different denominations, such as raised print, watermarks, clear printing and security thread

Many of the bills are being passed at convenience stores, Christensen said.

“The biggest thing is that people look at them” too quickly initially, “and give them a second look and see that they’re a little bit off,” Christensen said.

Nestler said some of the bills haven’t been found until going through a couple of transactions, or until business owners make bank deposits.

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Nestler said police are trying to determine if there is a pattern to the distribution of the bills.

Nestler said he was unsure if the counterfeit bills being seen in Fargo are related to those that have been passed recently in the Jamestown, N.D., area.

In the meantime, Nestler urges cashiers to be more deliberate in their transactions.

“Look at the money a little more closely,” Nestler said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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