Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Counterfeit Money

I have seen counterfeit money at work that is fresh off the presses, crisp, new, and fake.  Counterfeits are more likely to be "distressed" though -- crumpled and a bit dirty.  The counterfeiters know that a fresh bill is more likely to catch attention.  (And fresh ones do.  Even the real money that is bright and crisp gets my attention, and I examine it a bit more than normal.)

But the fakes I've encountered over the last couple of months have been in horrible shape.  They've been so faded they're barely legible.  Thing is, that can happen to real money too.  Some of the counterfeits have been torn in two and taped together (one with masking tape instead of clear tape).  But we see that too in real money.  Some of the counterfeits have a humongous black mark on it, from Sharpie or dirt.  That too can happen with real bills.  It seems that the thieves are hiding their counterfeits by making the money look so bad that people assume the badness of the money is from how crumpled & torn & marked & faded instead of noticing that the badness is from its being FAKE. 

Moral of the story: go ahead and be suspicious of really cruddy bills. 

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