Fake money hits Middleburgh


By David Avitabile

Police are investigating counterfeit money being passed in the Village of Middleburgh.
The phony bills have been used at area eateries, stores, and restaurants and there was a report of one bill coming from an ATM, though that may not be correct, according to Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond.
Police were originally told that a fake $5 was obtained from an ATM, but that is highly unlikely, Sheriff Desmond noted.
It has also been reported that fake $20s and $50s have been used in local restaurants, he added. The first phony bill surfaced in Middleburgh about a week and a half ago, according to Sheriff Desmond.
The Sheriff's Office said that counterfeit $100s may also been used.
Another fake bill was used at a local store in Middleburgh on Friday, reported Sheriff Desmond.
He does not know why the fake bills seem to be confined to Middleburgh
Members of the Sheriff's Office have been in contact and are receiving assistance from the United States Secret Service in addressing the issue.
"Due to the frequency of counterfeit notes being used in the Village of Middleburgh, we strongly urge local businesses to carefully inspect any bills received," police stated.
"We're asking people to look at all those bills." Sheriff Desmond added.
If anyone has received counterfeit money in the past month, they should contact the Sheriff's Office at 295-8114 to make a report and turn over the bill.
For more information on identifying counterfeit currency, log on to www.secretservice.gov/data/knowyourmoneyapril08.pdf.
The website describes how to spot fake bills and information on watermarks, security ribbons and threads, and color shifts on the new bills.
Police gave the following advice if you are presented with what you believe is a counterfeit bill.
If you are given a phony bill, police advice that you try to identify the person, not return the bill, and contact police.
Police added that you should place your personal safety first.