CARMEL, N.Y. - Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley reports an increase in counterfeit currency cases throughout the county, as well as adjoining counties, and is reminding merchants and consumers to be vigilant.

The Sheriff’s Department is actively investigating cases in which counterfeit $100 bills are being used to make smaller purchases at convenience stores, drug stores and eateries. The small purchase allows the suspects in these cases to walk away with legal U.S. currency, leaving their unsuspecting victims short financially. According to police, one suspect is wanted for passing counterfeit currency in the hamlet of Carmel on Feb. 23. Anyone with information should contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300

Langley reminds all merchants and consumers to check currency passed during a transaction for its authenticity. Counterfeit currency can easily by detected using the proper tools commercially available or, if you suspect the currency is counterfeit, contact local law enforcement.