Counterfeit money is on the rise in Manchester, according to police. One couple said they were hustled out of a car, by a person who paid them with all counterfeit bills.
Caitlin Small said she and her husband Mike were selling their 2001 Honda Accord because he is in the military and being deployed so he will no longer need it.
They put and add on Craigslist and thought they had found a buyer, but in hindsight, Small thinks the man planned to steal it all along even though he flashed a wad of cash.
“He wanted to take the car right then and there without a title without a bill of sale,” explained Small.
But they decided to wait and meet him in a public place the next morning to sell the car. However, they said the man called and changed to the location last minute and showed up on foot, which made them uneasy.
“He didn’t come in a vehicle,” said Small. “He came from the parking lot next door which we already thought was very weird.”
The man then, counted out $3000 cash, placed it in an envelope and drove off with the title, and Bill of Sale before they had a chance to count the money themselves.
“Without the license plate on the car or anything,” said Small. “He just took off with all the information.”
He was in a hurry because the money was counterfeit
Small said they soon noticed the serial numbers on the money were all the same. They called Manchester police who registered the car as stolen.
“It was purchased with fraudulent money, it was basically obtained illegally so it was stolen,” explained Captain Christopher Davis, Manchester Police.
Small said she also filed a claim with State Farm Insurance, but said they denied it because they don’t see her car as being stolen.
“I voluntarily gave the title and the keys and the bill of sale,” said Small. “Regardless of if it was counterfeit money or not, they were not going to accept the claim.”
Manchester police warns fake money has been circulating more since the holiday season.
“There definitely seems to be an uptick in counterfeiting currency in the area,” said Davis.
Here are some tips on spotting the fakes:
Check for a security thread. Its embedded in the bill. Next, look for the watermark. When help up to light, an image should be visible from both sides of the bill. You should also feel it, the bill should feel rough to the touch, not smooth like regular paper.
Manchester police also suggest you listen to your gut.
“If something doesn’t seem right it probably was not right,” said Davis.
Police also suggest meeting a person at the police station when conducting a transaction on online, because people are less likely to try to harm you at a police station, or pass counterfeit bills. But, ultimately they suggest not dealing in cash, because not only could you be cheated out of your money, people could try to hurt you for the money they know you will be carrying during a transaction.
We reached out State Farm regarding Smalls’ claim for the stolen car, they would not comment about the matter.