A Counterfeit Money Scam To Look Out For & How To Avoid It
My buddy finally got caught up in a counterfeit money scam after reselling for a few years. It happened over the weekend and he is out $100 because of it. He is happy it wasn’t more but was still surprised. He thought he safeguarded himself pretty well from this stuff but he still got hit by it. I will share his story and then the only way I think you can avoid scams like this.
The Counterfeit Money Scam Backstory
My friend had a Nintendo Switch bundle he was reselling locally. He didn’t mark it up much since they are not as hot of an item after the holiday season. But the total money collected was $360.
After making the sale he went to the bank to make a deposit and they said it was counterfeit. He was surprised since he had a money marker and the bill passed the test. The $100 bill also had the blue marking on it so he thought it was good.
After being told it was fake he called the cops and waited for them to arrive. When they showed up he explained the situation and gave them the person’s license plate that he had sold it to (he had luckily written it down). The other $260 in bills were fine. That could mean that the person making the purchase didn’t know it was fake either and got it from somewhere else etc.
The cops informed him that the money was a $1 bill that someone had washed and then reprinted on. That is why it passed the money marker test…because it was real US Treasury paper.
How To Avoid This Counterfeit Money Scam
This is a tough nut to crack. If your money marker can fail you then how do you avoid it? I would suggest selling larger items at a bank. That way you can have a teller check the money before handing over the item. They can then inform you if any of the bills are fake etc. and just posting that in your listing should help detract scammers from chasing your listing.
You may want to check with your local bank first to make sure this is okay or meet outside and then walk in together to do the process. Those are details you can work out as you fine tune your process. This is the only way I can think to avoid this scam though.
Luckily for my buddy he is only out $100 and the true loss from the purchase price is even lower than that. Had this been a $1000 PlayStation sale a few months ago it would have felt much worse.
Having said that he did take a lot of precautions trying to avoid this counterfeit money scam. He looked for the blue bar and checked the paper with a money marker. Those steps where not enough to avoid being dinged. He is considering selling at banks going forward so they can check the bills for him.
Has anyone else been handed counterfeit bills while reselling? Share your story in the comments.