MOOSIC — In Lackawanna County, two people are in jail, accused of using counterfeit money at The Shoppes at Montage.
The suspects used fake $100 bills at almost ten stores, until workers caught on to their scam, according to police.
Plow and Hearth was one of them, and workers say they knew something was up.
“She bought a pair of gloves. Normally we ask for our customers information to send them catalogs, she didn’t want to give it. The gloves were $7.95, she paid with a $100 bill,” says Plow & Hearth worker Angela Torba.
Police say the woman, Yerif Infante-Rosario, and a man, Andres Parra, were behind the scam.
Police said the woman went into the stores using the counterfeit $100 bills to buy items under $5. She’d hand over the fake cash, and get back about $90 in real money.
“When we arrived on scene we were told that they were actually still there passing the $100 bills from store to store. Security was parked in front of Victoria’s Secret and they had a visual on the woman,” says Moosic Police Officer Tom Jenkins.
Then police say the woman was walking in front of the stores, dropping bags of merchandise into the garbage. She later walked into Coldwater Creek, where police followed her inside.
“I went into the store, she put what appeared to be a wallet in the shelve display and I took her into custody,” said Officer Jenkins.
Police found the wallet containing the fakes, and later found Andres Parra walking through the parking lot. Police said he had counterfeit cash in his pocket, and a large amount of real money in the other.
Police searched the woman’s car and turned up $7,000 in counterfeit money.
Shoppers say this kind of fraud hurts everyone in the end.
“So they should be prosecuted, it does make me angry, yes,” says Maryann Harrington of Mt. Pocono.
Both are locked up in Lackawanna County Prison facing fraud charges.
Police believe there are other victims out there, and about $1,300 in fake bills still in circulation.
If any merchants believe they have been scammed, call Moosic Police.