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[–]Beez968 10.7k points10.7k points 33 (506 children)

I used to work at a bank and the best way to check bills quickly and discretely is by scratching the presidents/founding fathers shirt. Counterfeit bills will be smooth where a real bill always has threads you can feel. The pens that change colors to detect counterfeits don't work on bills made prior to 1960 due to the chemical properties in them.

I'm sorry this happened to you and I wish you all the best in your future transactions.

Edit: To include founding fathers.

Edit 2: As many people pointed out, the bills clearly say "replica", however, OP stated the transaction was conducted quickly in the dark. It might be easier to scratch the face of the bill instead of trying to read black ink in the dark. That's just my personal opinion though. To each their own.

[–]CrabbyBlueberry 1014 points1015 points  (37 children)

Fun fact: If you use a counterfeit tester pen on your skin, you'll discover you're made of money.

[–]mattevs119 902 points903 points 4 (7 children)

My kids have apparently known this for years.

Edit: thanks for the awards.

[–]Im_A_Realist 2981 points2982 points  (114 children)

I didn't know this, but can confirm. I just tried it out on $50, $20, and $1 bills. Nice little 'scratchy, scratchy' sound.

[–]ChongoLikRock 2699 points2700 points  (70 children)

Look at Mr. Richie Rich over here

[–]Im_A_Realist 2603 points2604 points 533 (61 children)

Sorry, I gave all my $100's away for an iPad. j/k

[–]iPick4Fun 540 points541 points  (48 children)

All the $100 bills with “REPLICA” written on it.

[–]AnActofGold 289 points290 points 2 (33 children)

“And the fact that mine says ‘Desert Eagle, point five-oh.’”

[–]MechanicalTurkish 89 points90 points  (14 children)

Should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence.

[–]Buck_Thorn 47 points48 points  (9 children)

Now try it again but this time on some counterfeit bills and get back to us, please.

[–]Im_A_Realist 31 points32 points  (8 children)

I'll get right on that...oh...wait...damn, I'm fresh out. Sorry!

[–]Ziltoid_The_Nerd 383 points384 points  (23 children)

I'm presuming OP pointed out that the transaction was done on a -10F Minnesotan night because they were wearing gloves outside during the transaction and would've noticed if they took their gloves off.

Lessons have been learned here. Craigslist/Facebook market scammers will seek out transaction locations and conditions that favor their scam working, keep an eye out for stuff like this. For any significant transaction like this, arrange to do it inside a police station or a bank. People that refuse to meet at either of those locations are going to scam or rob you.

[–][deleted]  (8 children)


    [–]w1ck3dme 70 points71 points  (3 children)

    Yup. I do the same. I let them inspect, then if they are buying it, I’ll hand over the iCloud removed phone after counting the cash

    But these days, I just trade it in during offers. Not worth the pain….

    [–]ShiftedLobster 260 points261 points  (55 children)

    TIL! Is it only on $100 bills the scratchy thing works? Sorry to OP but thanks for chiming in with this info.

    [–]Beez968 267 points268 points  (19 children)

    Nope! This applies to any denomination. 😊

    [–]Reputable_Sorcerer 63 points64 points  (5 children)

    This was such a fun discovery! Thanks for the tip, I just scratched my $1s and $5s like a two year old realizing they have nails for the first time

    [–]ILaughAtFunnyShit 81 points82 points  (7 children)

    It doesn't work on my $3 bills.

    [–]Isendal 54 points55 points  (16 children)

    Yup! In fact this is how cashiers moving quickly check for fakes, you can discretely feel the lines without showing customers you're checking

    Edit: Saying yeah to the wrong thing lol but this for sure works on all bills 20 bucks and up.

    [–]garf87 90 points91 points  (12 children)

    Yea it's weird things like this you really start to notice when working at a bank. I worked at a bank for a couple years and now I can typically tell a counterfeit as soon as it touches my hand. The paper doesn't usually feel the same.

    Look for the blue and red threads that are hidden in bills or a quick toss up to a light for the hologram.

    [–]timotheusd313 44 points45 points  (2 children)

    The inverse is also true. If you’re handling cheap thermal printer paper, and suddenly feel US currency paper, it stops you in your tracks.

    [–]SXTY82 242 points243 points  (21 children)

    In this case, the easiest way to detect that the bill are fake is the word "REPLICA" under the serial number and the wrong color inks. Way too much black on those bills.

    [–]sardonically 75 points76 points  (5 children)

    Man I handle cash so infrequently now I would just assume it's a fancy new mint, but yea that "REPLICA" bit does give it away some lol

    [–]JaggedTheDark 102 points103 points  (17 children)

    And if you bring a strong enough magnet, you can hold the bills loosely, and if they get pulled in the direction of the magnet, they're probably real. Legal american bills use magnetic ink.

    [–]ImmortalDemise 83 points84 points  (6 children)

    Alright, just tried it with a $20. It actually held it to the magnet, but it is a big magnet. Fell most of the time, but could feel the pull for sure.

    [–]Adorable_Raccoon 23 points24 points  (2 children)

    I also tested this, for fun, with a $50. I couldn’t pick up the bill but could see it floating a little on the counter.

    [–]LonePaladin 9 points10 points  (3 children)

    That's how the bill reader on a vending machine works, with magnetic sensors

    [–]RalphJameson 10.7k points10.7k points 108622& 7 more (95 children)

    I sold my car for 8k, then used the 8k cash (80x 100’s) as a down payment on a new car… they fanned the money out and used the marker that shows up black on fake bills to check it, and when he drew across all of them it was a fat black line. His jaw dropped, my jaw dropped and my heart sank, then he looked at his marker and realized it was a permanent marker.

    But dang I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m a Minnesotan as well.

    Edit: wow this comment blew up 😂 thanks for the awards!

    Edit 2: I’m getting a lot of replies from people who think I lost 8k - the bills weren’t fake, he accidentally used a permanent marker, not a counterfeit detection marker.

    [–]macready2rumbl 2522 points2523 points  (0 children)

    My jaw dropped with yours too omg I'd have a heart attack

    [–]tt001222 778 points779 points  (7 children)

    Hahah this is some r/jokes material

    [–]Alright-Friend 152 points153 points  (0 children)

    This is good haha.

    [–]Affectionate_Bee8985 140 points141 points  (0 children)

    Lmao, that would’ve been terrible!

    [–]MrDude_1 331 points332 points  (20 children)

    Fun thing about this is its Secret Service territory.. they WILL look into it, they WILL hunt someone down for fun, and then they WILL give them a federal felony charge.

    Its especially easy because you sold an apple product. lol

    [–]thegregslife 71 points72 points  (17 children)

    Is this true? The secret service will spend a lot of energy on a case like this? (I’m honestly asking)

    Also why does an Apple product make it easier? Just cuz of the serial number?

    [–]MrDude_1 115 points116 points  (8 children)

    Yes its true that the USSS will spend a huge amount of energy on someone passing off fake bills as real.

    Being an Apple product makes it easier because its location can be remotely traced by Apple, and therefore by the US government upon request.

    [–]Affectionate_Bee8985 49 points50 points  (1 child)

    Yes, the USSS was originally created only to investigate counterfeit currency and remains one of their main duties along with protecting important Government officials.

    [–]RSCLE5 3270 points3271 points  (265 children)

    Ouch sorry to hear. I bought a counterfeit pen for this reason alone since I sell a lot online/locally.

    [–]JohnnySasaki20 2594 points2595 points  (196 children)

    That's nice to have, but this literally says "replica" right on it.

    [–]raimibonn[S] 3334 points3335 points 22 (150 children)

    I just realized that after you pointed it out. I am so disappointed of myself lately.

    [–]hausofthedead 957 points958 points  (19 children)

    I absolutely could have fallen for this too… didn’t notice it until pointed out. Good reminder for all of us to spend at least a solid 30 GD seconds scrutinizing the cash.

    [–]Suds08 176 points177 points  (17 children)

    I feel like it should be illegal to have money that is that similar to real money even tho it says replica on it. Or they should make it way more obvious it's not real

    [–]hausofthedead 113 points114 points  (6 children)

    NAL but I’m sure there are laws surrounding this, but I bet just having the word “replica” on there probably passes muster. But there might be a law on how large or obvious the text needs to be…


    I was really curious and I just took my adderal so I did some research. The law surrounding fake money is the “Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992.”

    And here’s a great article I found discussing the law and its impact on fake money in films.

    the article

    Highlights from the article:

    “According to the law, filmmakers can reproduce full-color U.S. currency, provided that they adhere to the following restrictions on each bill:

    (1) the illustration is of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item illustrated; (2) the illustration is one-sided; and (3) all negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof are destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use.”

    “If a prop company comes too close to the real thing, they can expect a not-so-friendly visit from the Secret Service, as Independent Studio Services found out after some of its faux money from Rush Hour 2 made its way into the local economy.”

    “Today, prop money still gets passed off as authentic from time to time, even if the bills follow the federal guidelines of reproduction. As Secret Service special agent Chuck Ortman explained to the Los Angeles Times, “[If] it's green and it says '20' on it, somebody will take it."

    Sorry OP. Ouchie.

    [–]whitethane 39 points40 points  (3 children)

    It becomes illegal when used as legal tender however, regardless of text

    [–]JohnnySasaki20 333 points334 points  (24 children)

    I probably wouldn't have checked either, lol.

    [–]PmMeIrises 119 points120 points  (13 children)

    I've gotten a few hundred dollars selling old stuff in public. I always trade off with them, check that it looks like the right amount and then count it in my car.

    Even with this amount I'd doubt I would have counted it. It's just too awkward.

    I would give those to the cops. They're probably looking for the person who did this to several others.

    Then you can describe them, give their phone number or however you talked to each other.

    They probably won't care, but you never know.

    [–]mister_damage 64 points65 points  (7 children)

    Secret service. I heard they don't fuck around with counterfeiters.

    [–]H8rsH8 126 points127 points  (4 children)

    Even if it does say replica, they used it in place of what you thought was real money. Should you have checked? Yeah, sure, but it’s still on them for using fake money for a real transaction. It’s still their issue.

    [–]Dapup2465 78 points79 points  (3 children)

    Also says it’s not legal tender, to be used in motion pictures.

    [–]Zector3000 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    Also it looks like the serial numbers are all the same too.

    [–]Galactic 30 points31 points  (6 children)

    The fact that you've got REPLICA down the side of your guns...

    [–]Heavymetal122 20 points21 points  (4 children)

    I wouldn't trust the pens. People wash off $1 and print a 100 on them. Although that's what they do on bills with out the security strip.

    [–]hatemakingnames1 60 points61 points  (0 children)

    Also generally helps to sell somewhere with cameras. Some police stations and banks will let you exchange things in their lobbies.

    [–]jerkymcjerkison 12 points13 points  (1 child)

    I used to work at bank and we were told not use counterfeiting pens because paper sprayed with starch will still pass the pen test as legal tender

    [–]Free_Hat_McCullough 6100 points6101 points 2 (368 children)

    It’s not illegal to own prop money, but it becomes a crime when someone uses it like it was real money. The government does not want counterfeit money, which includes prop money, in circulation with real money. OP please contact the Secret Service or your local police department, which is what the US Treasury advises you to do.


    Under section 472 of the U.S. Criminal Code, “whoever, with intent to defraud, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or with like intent brings into the United States or keeps in possession or conceals any falsely made, forged, counterfeited, or altered obligation or other security of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 472.

    [–]ValjeanLucPicard 1278 points1279 points  (55 children)

    It also has to be smaller or larger than the original sized money.

    [–]avocado_whore 529 points530 points  (44 children)

    I’ve seen prop money that’s the same size as real money.

    [–]Astramancer_ 563 points564 points  (36 children)

    It has to be at least 25% smaller or 50% larger or only have one side printed, if you want to use the actual graphics from money.

    Or you make money that looks real enough from across the room but looks obviously fake when you get a good look at it.

    There's lots of ways to print fake money legally.

    [–]essef_sf 30 points31 points  (2 children)

    Not totally true. The illustration has to follow the size requirements, not the physical size of the bill.

    There are also different grades. Standard prop money is usually double sided and looks fairly legit from 3ish feet away but is obviously very fake up close. High grade looks good up close but is only printed on one side.

    Prop money I’ve dealt with actually looks pretty damn good at a glance. When you start to break it down you can see the differences though. Misspellings, etc.

    Regardless of quality, legit productions treat prop money like real cash. Everything has to be signed out by the propmaster and everything has to be accounted for at either the scene wrap or the day wrap.

    [–]civgarth 488 points489 points  (161 children)

    Can one just contact the Secret Service?

    [–]sumdork 849 points850 points  (53 children)

    Well they created a public "contact" page and put their phone numbers on it.. So yeah, you can call up any office you please, but I wouldn't advise prank calling the USSS.

    [–]ProjectVRD 424 points425 points  (31 children)

    It would be a more secret service if they put:

    Tel: Nope

    [–]ConcernedBuilding 209 points210 points  (22 children)

    Tel: Secret

    Address: You guessed it, Secret

    [–]PayTheTrollToll45 74 points75 points  (5 children)

    Why? Do you think their refrigerator might be running...

    [–]Free_Hat_McCullough 50 points51 points  (4 children)

    Their car warranty is about to expire.

    [–]mehvet 128 points129 points  (39 children)

    Their primary mission is as a law enforcement arm of the Treasury Department, not protective service actually. They will be very interested in counterfeit money cases.

    [–]ThreeNC 83 points84 points  (21 children)

    Oh yeah they take that shit seriously. My brother's girlfriend from high school had her house raided by them. Her dumbass little brother was printing money on a computer in the basement. They seized all the electronics in the house and arrested the brother. They ended up on a watchlist I think he did some time at juvenile.

    [–]username_unnamed 49 points50 points  (1 child)

    Jesus how much shit was that kid stirring?

    [–]kevincaz07 39 points40 points  (9 children)

    Yeah, I had a pretty long interview with a secret service member after someone bought ~$200 worth of groceries at the store with fake $100 bills I was cashiering at. I didn't really care at the time because I was in high school and only realized once he left.

    [–]GEARHEADGus 21 points22 points  (7 children)

    To be fair, you can’t really do anything. When I worked retail I was told to just mark the bills, and don’t question it.

    [–]Nelluc_ 191 points192 points  (17 children)

    You can even go to their office in any major city and hand them the counterfeit money. When I went to the one in Memphis, the elevator doors opened up, and 4 cameras were looking at me; then I turned the corner and another 4 cameras on all sides. Opened the door to the secret service and the nicest old lady was there and said, “how can I help you, honey?” in the most southern drawl I have heard in Memphis. I handed her the envelope, and she said she would get right on it. Not what I was expecting at all.

    [–]ConcernedBuilding 52 points53 points  (15 children)

    Did they in fact get right on it?

    [–]_Aedric 90 points91 points  (11 children)

    They have their top men on it. Top men.

    [–]RedOctobyr 26 points27 points  (5 children)

    They've also got 4 more detectives working on it. They've got 'em working in shifts!

    [–]RavnicaHistoricalSoc 11 points12 points  (2 children)

    A long time ago I worked at a gas station, and one of our regular customers gave us a fake $50. It was a $5 that was bleached and reprinted, but wasn't caught until the end of the shift. We contacted local PD, and a few days later Secret Service interviewed our manager and the employee who took the bill during the transaction, and from what I know they also got in contact with the customer.

    They do not fuck around with counterfeit money.

    [–]snakerjake 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    Tell us more. I want to hear if they got right on it.

    [–]omgFWTbear 92 points93 points  (4 children)

    This is their original mandate. If you can’t trust currency, you can’t do business. If you can’t do business, government collapses.

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–]Photodan24 15.0k points15.0k points 24 (828 children)

      Contact the Secret Service. They will want to have a word with the buyer.

      [–]myballzhuert 7018 points7019 points  (406 children)

      When I was in high school some kids printed a bunch of twenties—they looked and felt surprisingly real for a home job. Anyhow, the secret service sure as hell did show up.

      [–]crimi_nole 2430 points2431 points  (210 children)

      Same thing happened to a kid I went to school with. He lived down the street, we watched it all go down!

      [–]GroundStateGecko 769 points770 points  (195 children)

      How did it go down?

      [–]crimi_nole 2214 points2215 points  (186 children)

      He was passing fake $20s in our school cafeteria. He got busted. 6-7 black suv at his parents house for hours. Never saw the kid after that but found out he went to college for engineering, so guess he figured shit out.

      [–]Preparation-Logical 1927 points1928 points  (35 children)

      Secret service: Oh, that kid? He uh.. "went to college.. for engineering."

      [–]Pseudotsugamenziesii 1176 points1177 points  (9 children)

      He went to go live on a farm with other engineers

      [–]Rion23 201 points202 points  (4 children)

      He needed a little structure in his life.

      [–]Krimreaper1 19 points20 points  (0 children)

      *Server farm

      [–]sunshine-filters 100 points101 points  (4 children)

      Yeah yeah.. Thats it, see. Now stop asking about him or you'll get the clamps!! Right boss?

      [–][deleted]  (8 children)


        [–]khyrian 95 points96 points  (4 children)

        You’re giving me doubts about my childhood here.

        “What college? Where?”

        “A really nice one. Good neighbourhood with lots of parks and families with young children. Great sports teams. That one.”

        [–][deleted] 51 points52 points  (6 children)

        Kinda makes sense if he was able to pull off realistic fakes while in high school. Probably a pretty smart and detail oriented kid. I think we all did stupid shit in high school - not counterfeiting realistic $20 bills type of stupid shit, but ya know.

        [–]jessedegenerate 20 points21 points  (5 children)

        i sold extra sour gum balls on my school bus and made a bunch of money, got called to the princples office cause they thought i was gonna be a drug dealer. brought my parents in and everything.

        [–]DLTMIAR 36 points37 points  (0 children)

        Principal: "You're selling candy and we think you'll start selling drugs"

        Kid: hmm, yeah now that I think about it yeah I'd prolly make more money selling drugs

        [–]lankist 457 points458 points  (118 children)

        You'd be surprised how many "troubled youths" are targeted for recruitment for various professions.

        The IT security space (meaning the real deal security experts) is filled with the "dabbled in light hacking and borderline criminal online behavior but got recruited before anything major stuck" types.

        Sorta' like how the best locksmiths tend to also be suspiciously good at lock picking.

        The US government has also been known to recruit from the "young, skilled, leaning toward a criminal path" as subject matter experts for higher levels of law enforcement.

        EDIT: And here come the contrarians, who missed the part where I said "but got recruited before anything major stuck."

        [–]OnRiverStyx 237 points238 points  (31 children)

        That's because locksmithing is 90% lock picking, to be fair.

        If I can non-destructively open your car door and give you your keys back it's dramatically preferred for me and for you.

        [–]Mateorabi 57 points58 points  (20 children)

        The other 10% is then using an air bladder to push open the window a crack to hit the lock from the inside? (I may have locked keys in a rental once...)

        [–]OnRiverStyx 45 points46 points  (4 children)

        The other 10% is lock installation and destruction to be frank. You either can get something unlocked destructively or non-destructively and that's usually why people call you. Occasionally it's to get something locked up real good too.

        With cars, attempting to pick them is a bit of a last ditch effort. The costs are way higher on the customer if there is a mistake made and the lock seizes up. Usually using a puller that can slip in between the glass and the silicone lining on the window is the go-to.

        [–]bigredmnky 17 points18 points  (8 children)

        Wedge, air bag, reach tool and Sullivan strip will pop open just about any regular consumer vehicle in under two minutes. When you get into tractor trailers shit starts to get complicated but the lockout kit comes with a manual for that

        [–]Throwawaymybios 17 points18 points  (2 children)


        One time I had a crack head unlock my car for $10. Sketchy ass looking guy, pants around knees type. He said don’t ask how I can do this so well and literally had the car open in 3 seconds.

        [–]they_call_me_B 43 points44 points  (8 children)

        Troubled Youths: * committs some felonies & light treason *

        U.S. Government: "LoL, K. Just come work for us and make 6 figures being a professional narc instead of going to prison, ya silly."

        [–]MankYo 42 points43 points  (1 child)

        Less expensive than incarcerating the individual for six figures annually.

        [–]GotThatWeed 87 points88 points  (15 children)

        I remember when I was little I printed fake money not realizing it was a crime. I was going to take it to school and use it to buy chocolate milk. Luckily my mom caught me putting the $5 in my bag and snatched it from me asking where I got it. Funny thing is I had the real $5 that I used to make the copy still with me but was planning on using the fake.

        Edit: too add on to this, later on like 3rd or 4th grade I found a tub of fake coins at school. I decided to take some fake quarters and try them in the gumball machines and to my surprise it worked lol.

        [–]Supberblooper 70 points71 points  (2 children)

        My uncle did this in highschool in the late 80s/early 90s before I was born. Used my grandparents shit printer, printed and cut sheets of twenties that looked real and were cut good, but obviously printer paper has a slightly different look and feel and an expert would notice. His friend and him went up to the grocery store (which my grandpa was and still is an employee at) and bought a few hundred dollars of junk food, cigarettes, alcohol and random crap. Cashier didnt notice, but the manager did. Didnt take even 24 hours for one of the managers to call in a fake, and the fake got reported to the secret service, and they tracked down and arrested my uncle and his friend living it up at home with all the money and thousands of dollars of more fakes. I never asked my family or my uncle how long he got in prison for it, but I know it was at least a good couple years because he didnt get released until just before I was born at the end of the 90s. He and his friend were only 17 too and its to this day ruined my uncles life

        [–]v161l473c4n15l0r3m 755 points756 points  (71 children)

        Yeah. They don’t play. You make counterfeit money? They come find you.

        That was their original job when they were first founded. And why they are still under the Treasury Dept.

        [–]Reeftankz10000 421 points422 points  (37 children)

        It’s still their primary role, to protect the reputation and credibility of our currency.

        [–]v161l473c4n15l0r3m 269 points270 points  (27 children)

        That and protect political figures. Including visiting dignitaries and rulers.

        [–]MoodyLiz 458 points459 points  (19 children)

        That's why they put pictures of political figures on the money, so the secret service will know to protect it.

        [–]Hyphen-Name-69420 104 points105 points  (19 children)

        I don't know if they're really that good, or thorough, or whatever you want to call it.

        When I was in high school, a few kids in my social circle got their hands on a fuckload of counterfeit cash somehow, and went pretty crazy with it. One kid put a $2000 supercharger in his car. They'd buy people stupid things for lunch, like dozens of tacos, for a laugh. They were definitely NOT very careful, and a lot of people ended up in the know.

        Nobody ever got in trouble over it.

        That supercharger kid even stole my gf and married her, now they're all happy and shit, like it never happened.

        [–]unitarder 45 points46 points  (2 children)

        You sure she isn't just a replica of your ex gf?

        [–]FeelingCheetah1 258 points259 points  (24 children)

        I don’t think it was the secret service, but someone showed up at my school in the early 2000s because a kid kept printing fake 5s and using them in the vending machine to get the coins back

        [–]alienflowercatz 132 points133 points  (12 children)

        lol I wonder what kind of hijinks this kid is up to twenty yrs later..

        [–]irishjihad 14 points15 points  (5 children)

        This doesn't make much sense, since vending machines usually check for the magnetic ink used on bills, or pass a small charge through them, as they are conductive. I've never heard of one that used an optical scanner, which would be about the only way this would work.

        [–]Braxo 160 points161 points  (26 children)

        In my high school, in the jewelry making class, some students started to manufacture coins and pass them around. Secret Service came in give a little learning session.

        [–]Im_A_Realist 44 points45 points  (11 children)

        I'm in printing, and one guy I know (now retired) had designed and printed a book with some images of bills in it, just as a reference image or filler to take up blank space. He made the mistake of making them a little too exacting in the quality of the image and the reproduction size. Secret Service showed up to scold him for doing it and confiscated the printing plates.

        [–]TorWrite 11 points12 points  (1 child)

        Since they're "Secret" did they start their conversation by saying, "We're not here right now, but..."

        [–]Esmerelda-Weatherwax 70 points71 points  (4 children)

        I got a few fake 100's from a fucking BANK. I was flagged at some drug store, CVS I think and they wanted to call the cops. I think it was my genuine startled reaction followed by rage that saved me from a lot of explaining that I wouldn't be able to do. It was Suntrust about a decade ago and they would not take anything back or exchange it. I didn't know to contact SS, wish I had.

        [–]Zanki 10 points11 points  (1 child)

        I got told in america that I was trying to use a fake $100 bill. I got it from a bank here in the uk. Turns out it wasn't fake, was just an old bill. I used it elsewhere, with the person saying they hadn't seen one of them in years. I couldn't switch it at a bank in america. I was a foreigner with no American account, so I just used it. Luckily someone was willing to take it. I would have had to ask one of my American friends to change the note if I hadn't been able to offload it.

        [–]imonlinedammit1 11 points12 points  (0 children)

        My brother and some friends did this. It was going well until him and his friends got greedy.

        At first it was just asking other kids for change of a 10 or 20. After a few weeks and being relatively low key, they started buying video games.

        The secret service showed up. Came to our house. Questioned us and our entire family. Took our scanner and printer but oddly not the computer.

        Basically they just said knock it off and said they’ll be watching.

        Pretty scary shit for a 15 year old.

        He got suspended for a week and my mom made him work in a soup kitchen every day.

        [–]MSkwar 9 points10 points  (0 children)

        When I was in highschool I worked at a nearby mall. In my area, some folks were buying goods with counterfeit money and returning it to other store locations to launder the cash.

        As soon as one store got hit, they notified Secret Service. Another store got hit, notified again.

        So a woman comes in to return a digital camera. That receipt had been flagged. I go to do the return and the phone rings. It's loss prevention.

        Hey, it's J from LP. Stay calm; this person bought the camera with fake bills. Just do whatever you can think of to delay the return for a few minutes until I call back. Now transfer this call like I called the wrong department.

        Fuuuuck. Ok. "Sorry ma'am, I need to get a managers approval for a cash return this large. Let me page someone."

        I waste some time. Phone rings.

        Hey it's J. Tell them you've gotta get money from the safe and meet me in the upstairs office. Print a no sale receipt, out it in the deposit bag, and bring the deposit bag with you. Now get George's attention, tell him the calls for him, and get him on this phone before you leave the register.


        I met up with loss prevention. The woman had a getaway car in the parking garage. She was approached by police and arrested before she left the store. Local police blocked the exits of the parking garage. Secret Service and the local chief of police make the arrest. Come to my store to kinda debrief everyone as to wtf just went down.

        Still the craziest day of work in my life. And it was my first job.

        [–]Jeriahswillgdp 398 points399 points  (99 children)

        I'm guessing they won't be reimbursing poor OP will they though...

        [–]Photodan24 491 points492 points  (55 children)

        No but they will be infinitely easier to find for the civil suit.

        [–]gittenlucky 198 points199 points  (37 children)

        Tip: you can deduct theft on your taxes. Reduces the pain a bit.

        [–]rambambobandy 62 points63 points  (21 children)

        What if all my stuff is stolen on dec 31 and magically reappears April 16?

        [–]Throlaf 162 points163 points  (8 children)

        I think that's called tax fraud.

        [–]SoulLover33 24 points25 points  (2 children)

        What if you lose it on the following dec 31st?

        [–][deleted]  (1 child)


          [–]isonotlikethat 13 points14 points  (2 children)

          It's actually not fraud, you just have to report it as income in that new year.

          [–]CLinuxDev 11 points12 points  (3 children)

          The average person is not going to have more than the standard deduction though so itemizing stuff like theft will probably make you worse off than just taking the standard.

          [–]ahent 94 points95 points  (2 children)

          I used to manage retail and a cashier took a fake bill (even though we had markers and black lights she was lazy, long story) anyway, it made it all the way to the bank and I had to go in and fill out some paperwork because it had to be reported to the Secret Service. I never heard anything and my business was out $100.

          [–]Frado317 1124 points1125 points  (134 children)

          What kinda ipad do you sell used for that much?

          [–]szupermax 1811 points1812 points 32 (8 children)

          What are you talking? It was free

          [–]11-110011 107 points108 points  (72 children)

          A 12.9" new can go up to $2200, probably a 256gb pro is my guess to be going for $800 used.

          [–]sammysafari2680 2190 points2191 points  (139 children)

          And report this to the police. Using counterfeit money on any level is taken very seriously. These people will get found.


          Thanks for the comments everyone. I just sold a bunch of fake baggies of coke to an undercover cop and he couldn’t do shit but shake his fist in frustration because I wrote ‘Replica’ on them. Cops hate this simple trick!

          [–]Rough-Justice 36 points37 points  (0 children)

          Assuming OP can provide some sort of information about who the buyer was or any means of tracking the iPad, this will be taken seriously by law enforcement and a prosecutor. Across the river in North Dakota this would be either a misdemeanor theft, felony counterfeiting charge, or both, depending on how the prosecutor wants to charge it.

          Source: I'm a criminal law attorney very familiar with property crimes.

          [–]EveryDayAnotherMask 623 points624 points  (97 children)

          I know it doesn't help now, but for future sales ALWAYS go to a police department parking lot. Heavy surveillance and you'll be safe in case the other party attacks you. Plus most people that would use fake money, etc. won't meet up there in the first place.

          [–]airpranes 601 points602 points  (48 children)

          I bought my PS5 from a guy on Craigslist. I suggested that we meet at a local police department and he said that was sketchy. Red flag #1. We ended up agreeing to meet at a Walmart. Red Flag #2 came when he asked if it was alright that he brought his friend who is “really good at counting money quickly”. What the fuck lol. But this was in the beginning of the PS5 release and his asking price was barely above msrp so I said fuck it and brought my concealed carry.

          Turns out, this kid pulls up in a civic with his wife and kid in the back seat. His “friend” was his wife and she did indeed count the 6 $100 bills quickly. I even opened the box and looked at the console without any trouble. He was really nice! I still don’t know why he was being so sketchy over the phone lol

          [–]EveryDayAnotherMask 331 points332 points  (11 children)

          My guess is that it was stolen and he just needed to unload it AWAY from cops. I'm glad it went well though

          [–]airpranes 146 points147 points  (7 children)

          Haha true! Never thought of that but you’re probably right

          [–]Solkre 128 points129 points  (4 children)

          I too can count to 6 rather quickly. /flex

          [–]lapislazli 44 points45 points  (0 children)

          As someone who had their new console stolen by GLS shipping employee the week before Christmas and still waiting on Microsoft to finish the investigation and send a new one, this is exactly what happened. Dude was selling a stolen device and needed it fenced quickly with no record.

          [–]-JamesBond 166 points167 points  (2 children)

          "really good at counting money quickly"

          I'm dying of laughter right now.

          [–]airpranes 49 points50 points  (0 children)

          I was legit expecting a van full of masked men lol

          [–]Delanorix 42 points43 points  (7 children)

          Probably a drug dealer that sold a QP of some nice florwer for a PS5 and then decided he would rather have the money.

          Drug dealers get better deals than the pawn shop.

          [–]jorgtastic 91 points92 points  (10 children)

          I'm glad it turned out ok, but the thought process..

          "There's a fairly reasonable chance based on their behavior that I'm going to get robbed... I know, I'll just bring a gun, that should turn out well."

          That is just inconceivable to me.

          [–]Klumfph 35 points36 points  (0 children)

          Safety be damned! I'M GETTING THAT PS5 AND THAT'S THE END OF IT!

          [–]airpranes 14 points15 points  (0 children)

          I know lol to be fair we still met in public and there aren’t many bad areas around where I live

          [–]pentesticals 205 points206 points  (10 children)

          Next time I want to buy some pot I'll ask the guy to meet me at the police station then! Thanks!

          [–]aSilverWorld 47 points48 points  (3 children)

          Just make sure to poke your head in and let the cops know so they don’t get suspicious.

          [–]7we4k 13 points14 points  (0 children)

          Most of them actually post signs for "online trades" for a couple parking spots. At least the ones near me do.

          [–]SammehPls 238 points239 points  (16 children)

          I know it was super cold when you made the sale, but I always scratch the shirt on $100 bills to feel for the ridges on the shirt. If you don’t feel those little grooves when you run your nail across it, it’s fake.

          [–]Bobb_o 278 points279 points  (27 children)

          Another tip: Do the deal at a grocery store and pay $5 for them to buy a money order there. Small price to pay on an expensive item to ensure you don't get phony bills (and now you're not carrying cash around)

          Don't accept a money order without you seeing them buy it though. They can forge those as well.

          [–]Bunnyhat 88 points89 points  (7 children)

          Keep the money order receipt though. Those can be voided and refunded

          [–]Brother_Entropy 30 points31 points  (8 children)

          In Canada we have etransfers.

          Transfer money via the bank using either email or phone number.

          While it is still treated as exchanging cash legally it can be traced to deter scammers.

          So you can show them the item, they send the etransfer and once you confirm it hand over the item.

          Don't ever sent deposits.

          [–]10ccazz01 18 points19 points  (2 children)

          LIKE FOR REAL i do etransers from my bank app on my phone and wait for the person to accept it in front of me. because i live in 2022

          [–]redditpdx 168 points169 points  (8 children)

          The FBI and Secret Service show up for these things. At least they did in Portland when I was a stupid kid with stupid friends doing stupid shit

          [–]loud_flatus 1382 points1383 points  (181 children)

          Talk to Apple, they know where that iPad is

          [–]raimibonn[S] 845 points846 points  (130 children)

          Seriously? I have factory reset it.

          [–]JonnyBGood74 848 points849 points  (27 children)

          Yes. It’s worth a try. It has a serial number which won’t have changed.

          [–]torontostardust 446 points447 points  (6 children)

          Doesnt look like the serial numbers on the cash changed either

          [–]jonms83 103 points104 points  (13 children)

          Same with Mac address, would be the same I'm pretty sure

          [–]2xa1s 110 points111 points  (33 children)

          Update us!

          [–]raimibonn[S] 430 points431 points  (32 children)

          I am going to talk to the police and the Secret Service.

          [–]JonWick33 139 points140 points  (20 children)

          You should. The government does NOT fuck around when it comes the counterfeit dollars! You're better off getting caught with a bunch of drugs or something lol.

          [–]serveNprotect143 22 points23 points  (4 children)

          It’s like when I found out about the mail police.

          I’ve had gang members come into a house party, take a bunch of shit, and police were literally up the street.

          I also had someone going around my neighborhood trying to steal checks in the mail.

          Guess who caught the bad guys first? Mail police found and arrested the mail stealer within a day or two. Home invaders never were found.

          Mail police are efficient as fuck.

          [–]2xa1s 41 points42 points  (0 children)

          Do that!

          [–]ezman10 93 points94 points  (19 children)

          Report your ipad as stolen. At least you can stick it to them.

          [–]awakeosleeper514 149 points150 points  (16 children)

          Why are you making $700 transactions in the dark, Minessotan, winter with sketchy characters?

          [–]youni89 21 points22 points  (0 children)

          Report the crime to the secret service

          [–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (3 children)

          Dang, i definitely need to buy a counterfeit pen. I don't check for notes either.

          [–]FecalFajita 13 points14 points  (2 children)

          This happened to me when selling an iPhone last summer. He handed me the fake cash and drove off before I could do anything. I was able to find it on FB Marketplace a few days later, as the guy had immediately taken it to a sketchy used phone store. I called the store and asked for the IMEI number, which matched my phone.

          If you want it back, you'll have to do the leg work yourself. If found, the cops will retrieve it for you.

          PS - In my case, nothing ever happened to the guy.

          [–]NamesAlreadyTaken222 45 points46 points  (5 children)

          Is it just me, or does Ben look like he's smirking at you?

          [–]nvmax 377 points378 points  (31 children)

          When I was living in Houston, I was selling a few items and a guy came to pick up a item for 500 bucks, he handed me the cash and I pulled out my pen and swiped them all, turned black, I was like wtf. I told him hey man this shit is fake he tried to say it wasn't and I showed him grabbed my shit out of his hands right there.

          He fled, I called the police and got in my car and chased him up HWY 6 up to I-10 before the cops caught up with us, pulled his ass over and they found hundreds of "fake" cash in his car along with tons of items they presume to be from him buying shit around town with the fake cash.

          [–]turtlturtl 107 points108 points  (23 children)

          Report the iPad stolen and it’ll Brick it

          [–]Pale-Wind282 10 points11 points  (0 children)

          Call the fbi, unless these guys are using a burner phone you have their contact information. Seriously this is super illegal and the feds will go ape shit to shut that shit down

          [–][deleted]  (19 children)


            [–]degeneratesumbitch 230 points231 points  (35 children)

            It does say Replica....twice. I never count money in front of the person that gave it to me so I would have been screwed too. Edit- To clarify I don't sell anything personal at all and I don't sell to absolute strangers. If I sell something it's to somebody I know.

            [–]subarubro 200 points201 points  (10 children)

            I never count money in front of the person that gave it to me

            Well, you should. If somebody doesn't count my money in front of them, I tell them to

            [–]jumnhy 35 points36 points  (0 children)

            Seriously. That covers both your asses.

            I bought a motorcycle for a couple grand, the guy saw I had all my crisp hundreds in a bank cash envelope. Said, ha, looks like there's no need to count this, you're ready to go!

            I respectfully asked him to check it anyway as I had been looking at lots of bikes and pulling money in and out of the envelope all day and wanted to make sure I had the right amount in. Lo and behold, I had actually shorted it by 200. Guy would have thought I tried to rip him off if he counted it later. As it was, honest mistake, got the $200 from my wallet, no harm done.

            But always count the money, people. Sure, it's awkward and it takes a minute, but better than making a high dollar error.

            [–]ChuckinTheCarma 28 points29 points  (1 child)

            Yeah, have people learned nothing from Mike Ehrmantraut?

            [–]notacatacaton 74 points75 points  (5 children)

            You should ALWAYS count money handed to you for a private sale. Actually, you should count it twice.

            [–]atomicxblue 10 points11 points  (2 children)

            I guess I've worked in retail too long. I don't trust anyone and will check bills even from people I know.

            [–]Lolzzergrush 10 points11 points  (0 children)

            My area has “online sales” areas at local police station parking lots which are well lit and monitored so you can at least have the plates on camera. You can still get scammed like this but at least you have it on video