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Police: Be on the lookout for new batch of counterfeit floating around area

By: Aaron DImick Email
By: Aaron DImick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's a story that will have you running to your purses and wallets.

Police say there's a new influx of counterfeit bills floating around the area.

The Eau Claire Police Department is getting the word out to people and businesses to take a close look at their cash.

The Dollar General Store on Cameron Street was all about the Benjamins on Jan. 2.

According to a criminal complaint, three men came into the store just before 8 p.m.

Two of them paid for their items with two $100 bills and left.

The manager thought the money looked fishy and called Eau Claire Police.

When officers arrived they soon found the cash to be counterfeit and questioned the third man, Dorval Lewis of Eau Claire, who they say was busy shoplifting makeup and toothbrushes.

The complaint says officers found two more fake $100 bills on the 31-year-old suspect and arrested him.

“Counterfeit cases do come up on a regular basis and recently, two bills that appear to be of similar construction came in in a close time proximity,” said Detective Mike Voelker with the Financial Crimes Division.

Detective Voelker said the counterfeit has mostly been $100s but has shown up in other denominations.

“Most of the time the bills are passed at a convenience store or kind of a quick easy in and out location,” Voelker said.

Police say counterfeit will feel differently because it's printed on paper and not the cloth mixture real ones have.

You should also look out for the coloring and the consistency of the background images.

“For the most part the security thread and the watermark on the bill would be the most glaringly inconsistent things on a bill that would show that it's counterfeit,” Voelker said.

If you get passed a phony bill at a business, the detective said it would be up to the store's policy to determine if you could get real money back.

“When counterfeit currency is out there, it tends to devalue legitimate currency and cause a mistrust in the currency system,” Voelker said.

This is still an active investigation so if you have any counterfeit, police want you to bring it into them.

Lewis was released on bond.

He’s been charged with two counts of forgery and one count of retail theft.


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