A message from Provincetown Police Chief Jim Golden:
We had two separate reports of fake $20 bills received at area businesses over the long Memorial Day weekend. In both instances these bills differed in ink and paper quality from legal tender. While this issue pops up every summer, mostly at locations with new or inexperienced employees or at locations with cashiers who are busy with long lines of waiting people. The Provincetown Police Department is issuing this reminder to businesses and residents to be always be on the lookout for fake money.
The Secret Service’s website offers information about common security features on U.S. currency, and what to do if you spot fake money, like reporting it to local police.
We are encouraging businesses to inspect bills for their size, thread woven security strip, watermark portrait, micro fibers and other distinguishing features found on legal currency. Counterfeit marking pens can be helpful in identifying fake money, but they should not be relied on solely to test for forged currency.
It’s always the best practice for you to keep a close eye on the bills you are receiving during transactions and check for the security features listed below.
What should businesses do to protect themselves if you suspect that you have been offered a counterfeit note during a transaction?
Politely refuse the note and explain that you suspect it may be counterfeit. Remember that the person in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who does not realize the note is suspicious.
Ask for another note (and check it too).
Advise police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money. This can be reported by calling us at our non-emergency number at 508-487-1212.
If a suspicious note is found after a transaction has been completed, please call us to report the incident.
Remember: real money has texture, watermarks and security ribbons imprinted on it.
We remind residents and business owners to get a good description of the person using the fake money and the license plate of the vehicle they may have used.
Both of these incidents were reported to police after the bills had been accepted by the merchants.
As always, thank you for your support!
Chief of Police