The problem of counterfeit money is on the rise. Of course, with today's computer technology and color printers, the process has become much easier for criminals. In 2013 the Secret Service recovered more than $150 million dollars in fake bills.
What Happens If You Get Caught Passing Counterfeit Money?
It can really happen to anyone. How many of us take the time to check the money we receive from our bank or our change when we make a purchase? Being caught with fake money in your possession is no fun. First, you will likely face questioning by law enforcement. Secondly, the money will be confiscated and you will not be given a replacement.
There is a little known provision in many homeowner's policies related to losses stemming from counterfeit money. Check your policy, you may have protection for as much as $1,000 and usually there is no deductible. Be sure and make a police report and get a copy for your insurance company (even if you have just a renter's policy you may still have this coverage).
How To Protect Yourself
The biggest risk is a scenario where you would be receiving a large amount of cash. This would be common when selling a large ticket item to an individual. Consider the scenario of selling a car on Craigslist. Maybe it is a late model vehicle and you are pricing it at $2,500. It would be very common for this kind of a transaction to come together as a 'cash deal.'
Experts say that counterfeit scammers go into high gear around the holidays. Many people sell big ticket items to raise cash for Christmas and become targets of criminals with stacks of fake cash to pass. Unless you want to become an expert on counterfeit money, buy one of those special pens, etc... your best option is to meet your buyer at your bank. Tell them that you want to make the deposit of the cash directly into your account. Rest assured that the teller will check your stack of bills before finalizing your deposit. If there is a problem, you will know right away and can call off the deal.
Helping you make the most of God's money!