Four counterfeit bills turned up Monday at the office of the Leavenworth Water Department, a police spokesman confirmed.
Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department, said a woman apparently tried to use the counterfeit $20 bills to pay a bill Monday afternoon at the Water Department's office at 601 Cherokee St. The woman did not realize the bills were counterfeit.
The police were contacted by someone from the Water Department. Officers seized the counterfeit bills.
Nicodemus said authorities haven't determined where the bills originated. He said the police have received no other recent reports of counterfeit money.
In these type of cases, the police contact the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates the counterfeiting of money.
"We contact them and forward the report and work with them on it," Nicodemus said.
He said local merchants should be cognizant that counterfeit money is passed on a regular basis, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.
He said being aware of security features of the bills produced by the federal government can help in identifying counterfeit money. He noted that some people use special markers to check bills.
Information about detecting counterfeit money can be found on the Secret Service website, www.secretservice.gov.
The website suggests comparing a bill that is suspected of being counterfeit with a legitimate one of the same denomination and series. It's suggested that people pay attention to the quality of the printing and paper characteristics and look for differences when comparing the bills rather than similarities.