Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

Ecorse Businesses Urged to be On Alert for Counterfeit Bills

Series: COMMUNITY SAFETY | Story 2

December 31, 2020

Business owners and residents can obtain a counterfeit bill detector pen from any office supply store.

Ecorse's Public Safety Director Joseph Thomas is urging local businesses to be on alert for counterfeit $50 and $20 bills. Thomas says five fake bills had been received by three Ecorse businesses as of Monday, December 28, and says there are bound to be more floating around out there.

"During the holidays, we got hit hard and people are going to be doing (unlawful) things, and we ask people to be extremely mindful," says Thomas.

Thomas adds that it is possible people are unknowingly passing the fake bills around and may have received them as change when holiday shopping elsewhere out in the community.

Ecorse Director of Public Safety, Joseph Thomas

Thomas says business owners should obtain a counterfeit detector pen, widely available at office supply stores and online, and some banks are able to provide them as well. Resembling a magic marker, the pens are able to determine the authenticity of a bill merely by drawing a line across it. A black mark indicates a fake bill. "This is a small hometown...understanding customers will be understanding with you checking their bills," says Thomas. "People that are doing this have to know that we're going to be checking these bills. "

Thomas says business owners who receive counterfeit bills should contact the police department and if there is camera footage of customer activity, it makes the job of tracking down a suspect easier. To contact the Ecorse Public Safety Department, call 313-381-0900


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