Counterfeiter tries to pay using small bills

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With counterfeit bills circling around Lewiston it has some business owners buckling down and paying closer attention to cash they receive.

Last Friday, a man walked into the Third Street Stinker Station in Lewis ton and tried handing a store clerk three of different counterfeit bills. What’s surprising to police is that-it wasn’t $100 bill or even a $20, but a phony $5 bill.

“It's just the smaller denomination...that they would take the time and effort to counterfeit the smaller bill versus the larger denomination bill," Detective Brian Birdsell, Lewiston Police said.

It was also somewhat surprising to other store owners in the area.

" I kind of expect it with the bigger bills ...(but) people think with the smaller bills/denominations the clerks are not paying attention- they just want to get you out of the door," said Kulvir Gill, owner of Exxon, Neighborhood Market said.

Birdsell said scams like this are common during the bustle of summer so it's all about the extra attention to detail.

The clerk of the Stinker Station store said that once he saw that $5 bill... he knew something wasn't right.

Though fraudulent, some counterfeits can be hard to differentiate.

"These printers these days- technology has advanced so well, they think they can sneak one by real quickly," Kulvir said.

Although none of Gill’s three Lewiston convenient stores have been hit with any funny money, he said he’s taken preventative measures.

" What I did first was I pretty much texted all my employees the article. I’m like, 'hey guys, I need everybody to be on the lookout for this. make sure you guys are watching all the bills (because) you will be held accountable. It's pretty much taking all the measures you can,'" Gill said.

Detective Birdsell said they're still looking for the suspect and that if found... he could be facing a felony resulting in likely jail time.

For more information on how you can better differentiate fake bills go to this website:

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