Counterfeit - my new problem

So, we had an $1100 deposit ‘disappear’ at our bank after dropping our locked deposit bag in the night deposit box/safe. Dropped Saturday mrning, and finally called the bank Thursday to ask about the deposit. After we tore up the shop and our cars looking for the bag in case we did not actually drop it, our relationship banker called to iform us that it was sequestered on Tuesday morning and there was no record of it in the system.

It seems the teller found two counterfeit $20 bills in the deposit, and re-routed the whole deposit internally (meaning nothing was deposited). It took our banker literally hours to track it down as no flags were added to our account, and no contact was made to us. Teller stated that she tried to call our business number (our shop, which has a recorded message saying we don’t open until 5pm) on two days and could not get in contact with us.

We can identify a couple of customers who could have passed us the bills, and we are additionally concerned about the processes at the bank for handling this sort of incident. Keep an eye out for those funny bills. It is very hard to track the perpetrators, and $20 bills are nigh impossible to verify every single time.

We filed a report with local PD, and will follow up with any new info we get from the bank. We had a night deposit come up $100 short last month, so we are inquiring as to identity of the two tellers from then and now. Could be nothing, could be a trend, could be that we are unhappy with the number if irregularities so far with our bank since moving there 3 months ago.

I would be sitting down with the bank manager and having a chat with him. That is unacceptable for a bank to do something like that. I dont know why they would not deposit the rest of your money and send what they think are phoney 20’s into their head office. I have only had 2 fakes in 8 years and they just pulled them out of the deposit and checked the rest with their light, all the rest were ok so they wrote up a memo of some kind (it was a while ago so I dont remember exactly what it was) I signed it and they sent the bill in. They then called me after about 3 days to confirm it was counterfit. Thas how it should work!


go to the office supply store and get a counterfiet pen checker they are about $5 and well worth it

Good idea. We are already planned to get some this weekend. It’s still gonna be hard to do each and every one that passes into the store. We are going to try for a while, but it just seems to be a leaky boat that has lots of leaks to plug. Drivers, servers, cashier. Everyone gets a pen and is responsible for using it . . . maybe they pay for the phony bills that get through.

Nick, trust me it is not hard to do.

Try Ebay you can get a batch of these pens for a few dollars - better to have some laying around.

As you say, issue one to each person, lead by example. BUT you must then check the notes again when you cash out the driver/in-store till. It really doesn’t take 2 minutes to do a nights takings.

If you find a counterfeit note in drivers/servers takings then it comes out of their wage - if they can’t be bothered checking the notes then its there problem.

I had a similar problem quite a while ago before I had pens. We suspected a particular customer and when the driver pulled out the pen the customer was really flustered - hasn’t ordered again.

Hope this helps.

Do NOT use pens. They give way too many false readings i.e. pen says it’s a fake when it isn’t (any spilt liquid or substance on the note may lead to an incorrect reading).

Yes I know what I am talking about because I used to have a money exchange business and would take dollar bills worth $50,000 to $75,000 daily. I actually lost a valued customer because I used a pen and thought he had given me a fake.

It is actually very easy to tell if a note is fake and you don’t have to spend one cent. First, feel it - does it feel right. Fakes never feel right. Second, look at the numbers (i.e 20 on a twenty, 100 on an one hundred) in the corners. It is a particular color (I am English and do not remember the exact colour - it’s been a couple of years since I was in the US). Change the angle at which you are holding it - the number should change color. Third, look closely at the note. There should be cotton strands interwoven into the bill. Use your finger nail to dislodge the strand to make sure the strands are real, and are not simply printed on.

Follow these steps, and tell your staff that they have to go through this procedure with every bill, and you will never need to accept a fake again.

[step 2 is pretty much all you have to do. If you get given 5 twenty dollar bills, just spread them into a fan and change the angle at which you are looking at them. Takes about 3 seconds to do and it is virtually impossible for the fakers to reproduce this colour change]


Whilst I certainly would not say that pens or any other checking methods are 100% fool proof I’ve found pens are way better than trying to ‘look at the note from different angles’ on a dark wet and busy night.

Most customer don’t pay with 5x 20’s (unless your very lucky) so its very hard to ‘fan them out’ or do a comparison. Likewise its not the drivers money so they’re not really that bothered in standing there finding a light source, feeling the note, checking for watermarks, unfortunately we deliver to peoples homes not to well lit offices.

Yes by looking and using all the ‘in built’ security features of bank notes you and I can spot a fake but real life isn’t that easy - a pen spots the potential problems then you look at the rest of the features.

In two years of using pens I’ve spotted just a handful of notes that have made it to the store and they were all fake - the driver didn’t use a pen, was in a hurry, and the usual 100 other reasons why they aren’t careful with ‘someone else’s money’ but when it comes out of their pay-check you bet they’ll be more careful next time. I’ve not found a single instance where the pen has been wrong maybe I’m using different pens to you? :wink:

:frowning: right the pens work on poor fakes but I receintly got a 100 that they had washed a $5 and then printed a $100 over it, it passed the pen test, and the feel test, but in light wasnt printed streight. the bank caught it—I know where I got it and yelled and threatened the wobbiejobbie (Pakastani) with jail and he paid me, he still trys to make me feel guilty about him paying me , but who cares

We follow a strict procedure at my place that prevents us from accepting fake bills:

  1. Mark each any every bill with detector pen.
  2. Look at bill under ultraviolet light (we have one mounted next to each cash register)
  3. Examine each bill with a low power microscope (also mounted at each cash register)
  4. Eveyone that accepts any bill will write his/her name and social security number on the edge of the bill. This way if any come back I can deduct the loss from their paycheck.

Driver have a portable light/microscope kit mounted on the dash of their vehicle.

We used to get 1 fake bill every 3 or 4 years before we implemented these rules!

You are joking, I know you are. Writing on US currency is illegal (defacing). And I’m SURE you don’t make your employees write their name and ssn on bills.

I tell the drivers to make sure they use the fakes to buy gas… LOL.

Never seen one in 9 years. That is about 5 million in cash handled. It’s not something I am going to spend and time and effort on.

When we receive any bill larger than $5, our team of experts immediately goes into action:

With red lights flashing and sirens wailing, they take the suspect bill into custody, while placing the potential perpetrator into a small, locked, windowless room until the authenticity of the bill can be properly verified.

Using state of the art DNA testing, our experts then go to work on the alleged “currency”. Usually, this testing takes no longer than 2 weeks, at which point the customer is released from his locked cell, given his pizza, and sent home with a hearty handshake.

It’s a lot of work, but at least I don’t have to worry about them coming back to bother me again.

Now if only I could do something about those phony credit cards …

No, seriously, we have a pen at the register, and hold bills of $20 or more up to the light to see the “dead president” watermark. If any customers look offended, we tell them that, while we trust them, we aren’t sure about the last person who had the bill before them. After telling them that, everyone seems to understand why we check them. For drivers, I make sure they know that they are responsible for any bill larger than a 20 - they’ll get at most 1 or 2 of those a night, so it won’t slow them down at all to make sure that they check those ones.

i get 2-3 counterfeit 20’s per year and used to call the police. after never hearing back from two incidents where I knew the address that we recieved it from, I now spend them. A busy night in a dimly lit bar, and they are now someone elses problem.

some of you have way too much time on your hands

On a serious note, I will report to the local police any time we get some counterfeit bills so that there is a record. Who knows when our report is the one that pulls all the pieces together and the guys get nabbed. I doubt that we’ll get any good jail time for anyone on one report, but it is a good thing in my book to get a report on file.

Sorry, but on a serious note I will continue to spend the counterfeit bills at the dimly lit bar. If someone even pretended that calling the police would help keep this from happening in the future I would call the police, but how many times can you get blown off and lose money before enough is enough?

One should commit what felonies one desires :slight_smile: in the name of the business. My desire to report to the police is in the random off chance that there is actually a ring of action in the county that can be identified as a pattern. Three weeks from now is too late to give details and establish a baseline for the pattern.

Likelihood of busing whoever started these bills is pretty slim . . . unless it happens to be an inside employee at the bank. Then, that silly little report I filed becomes rather useful, one should admit.

Why don’t you ask the bank manager to review the security cameras at the drive thru and on the inside. There should be cameras which should have caught your employee placing the deposit in the night drop.
This will at least let you prove to the bank manager that it is now his responsibility to place the $ in your account, possibly with a hold, but none the less it is yours.
Maybe think about changing banks.

As long as they aren’t posting during the dinner rush, it’s okay :slight_smile:

The deposit is found and credited to our account, and we are working the bank officials to make sure there is a process in place for tacking our money once it is in their hands. I never want to hear from them again that they don’t know where our money is. That will be the day I very certainly move our business. I don’t ever want to hear that the one person who knows where my money is . . . has gone to lunch or is out on vacation. There needs to be a clear and traceable trail of the progress of our deposits and any irregularities.

Once they actually tacked down the deposit, it was handled and placed into our account. There was just ZERO record anywhere in their systems of it being actually in their possession. They were apologetic . . . I want to know what changes are in place to prevent this in future.