KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

(Released for publication) The Kingsport Police Department has recently taken possession of numerous counterfeit bills found circulating throughout the area. These bills have typically been in the $20, $50, or $100 denominations.

There is little or no pattern as to how people have come to be in possession of the counterfeit currency. Some individuals have reported receiving the bills via business or private party transactions, while others reportedly received the bills directly from bank tellers or automated teller machines.

As the Kingsport Police Department receives these counterfeit bills, an initial report is generated; however, the case is then referred to the United States Secret Service for investigation.

The Kingsport Police Department urges area citizens, businesses, and financial institutions to be aware of this recent surge in counterfeit currency activity and take the appropriate steps to verify the legitimacy of bills they receive, especially in the $20, $50, or $100 denominations. Counterfeit bill detector pens, such as the one pictured in this release, are easily affordable and readily available at various office supply and department stores in the area.

A final word of warning…any individual who comes into possession of a counterfeit bill is required by law to notify law enforcement and turn it in immediately.