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2014-08-28

Scams - they all come down to $$$

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

City of Bandera Marshal James "Charlie" Hicks has issued warnings to local merchants about bogus bills and another scam designed to part residents from their hard-earned moola.
"Recently, several counterfeit $20 bills have passed to our merchants," Hicks offered in a recent email. "Yesterday, a single counterfeit $1 bill was also brought to my attention."
According to Hicks, this particular crime is difficult to solve. "By the time law enforcement gets the call, the bills have already been passed through several hands," he explained.
He urges merchants to use their special markers consistently to check for counterfeit bills. However, a bank representative has advised Hicks that the special pens will not always pick up counterfeit bills. "She urged everyone to pay close attention to the bills received from customers," Hicks said.
"If you do find a counterfeit bill, call us immediately," Hicks advised. "The quicker our response time is the better chance we will have to actually catch someone in the act of passing these bills."
Suspect bills will be forwarded to the Secret Service Field Office in San Antonio, he said. "I was told that increased numbers of suspicious bills from one area would get the agency's attention and the Secret Service would start investigating the incidents as a counterfeit ring," Hicks explained.
Additionally, he also warns residents that a number of Kerr County citizens have received telephone calls advising them that they either owe a fine or that the Kerr County Sheriff's Office is raising funds for their civil or warrant division. Some callers are even using names of current employees to make the call more legitimate.
Hicks advises citizens that neither the Kerr County Sheriff's office nor the Bandera Marshal's Office will ever call anyone soliciting for money. "This is a scam," Hicks said.
According to Hicks, a current investigation has indicated that the calls might have originated from the Marble Falls area. "If anyone receives one of these calls in Bandera, do not give the callers any information and report the call immediately to our office at 830-796-7172 or to the Bandera County Sheriff's Office at 830-796-3771.
"It's better to be safe than sorry," Hicks said.