Counterfeit money, you gotten any?


PFG, Picture Framing God
Founding Member
Aug 12, 2000
San Diego, CA
We had a couple of clowns in our store a few weeks ago. They picked out a $18.00 dollar frame and handed Mary a hundred dollar bill. It was well worn and crumpled. She called me out of the back, handed it to me and said she did not have the change for it. I looked in my wallet, and I didn't have the change either.

I told the fellow I would walk up to the corner and get the bill broken. He grabbed it out of my hand and said he would do it. They both left, got in their car and kept going.

Mary looked at me like I was nuts, she asked me why I did that. She said it was a counterfeit bill, that's why she handed it to me. I was in total la la land, didn't have a clue.

I, to my knowledge, have never been given fake money. It just does not seem to happen much in our industry. Heck, if I had had the change, I would have given it to the guy. Mary had plenty of change in the register. I guess I just don't have a suspicious mind. I completely blew that one.

How often has this happened to you?

I am sad to say that there was a local Dairy Queen that busted a $200 bill. Whats worse is that it wasn't the counter person as she didn't have enough money. No it was the manager. I'm pretty sure it was fake!

Wow, that was a close call!
Whatch out for a Romanian gipsy from San Diego, CA who pays for his frames with 168 dollars bils. How do I know of him? He bought a $15 frame from me. .
You may be aware of this, but there is a special 'pen' that you can get at Staples or OfficeMax that tests bills - it turns colors if it is counterfeit. I use it mostly at our casual art far, so good!

Sure hope these "artists" don't have the ability to figure out how to override the 'pen test'!
A business neighbor rejected a counterfeit bill last year, but I've never received one.

But I only have four customers, all friends, and they wouldn't do that to me. I don't think they would, anyway.
Yes, Janet that would! Speaking of you use a pH testing pen, and if so what for? I've never found a need....but then again, maybe there's been one all along and I just don't know it!
Someone recently tried to cash a fake "Million Dollar Bill" at a Walmart Store

We haven't had any counterfeit bills here, but when I was a teen and worked at an electronics store we would get them weekly.

I doubt many counterfeiters would be interested in framing
They're probably looking for meals, or high end electronic items that can be easily re-sold on ebay.
No Sherry, I've never purchased or used one of those pH testing pens. LOL, I run a frame shop, not a chemical testing lab. I've not had a job yet, where it was important enough to have every part of it be totally acid free. From the previous posts here on the G, it appears those pens are not always accurate from the get go.
Yes, but SURELY they'd 'tell the tale' on a $200 or a $300 dollar bill!

J, Frank Howard makes his employees use them on anything larger than a twenty. 'Course, with that crowd, they've probably been instructed to hold any unfortunate counterfeiter at gunpoint until the fuzz arrives, or, God forbid, until Jill gets a-hold of 'em!
I used to see them many a time (30 years ago as an auditor for Kmart). I handled cash on a regular basis and had the touch down pat. I used to balance out the cash rooms in stores as part of an audit. It was the first thing I did after saying "Hello, I am here to help you". You can feel the difference some times.
They were almost always $20's. I had some interesting training from some Secret Service agents due to the job. :cool:
I think it is going to be a lot more common, what with all the new scanning and printing capabilities of home computers. Heck, even a kid can make a passable facsimile of our currency. Mary caught the one handed to us by the feel and look of the paper. The printing looked real to me.

Things to remember about our "real" currency

the paper itself (100% cotton) and the red and blue threads

intaglio printing

imbedded polyester ribbon - same dollar amount as currency - each demonination in a different position

color shift ink - raised printing

mirco printing

watermark of portrait
I have called the Treasury with a conterfit bill before. Luckily my customer had just gotten the bill from the bank.

She got her money back.
Never any fake bills but a couple years ago we had someone with a fake US Postal Service money order. He is now doing quite a bit of time in Atlanta for the over 200 of these that he used across the country. We got our money back and he owes everyone money who he swindled. I am guessing it will be a long time when he is making .37/hr in the clink.