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GoodOldWorkingClass wrote (edited )

Regarding what happens when you hand over a bill which the merchant determines is counterfeit,

I used to work at a bank and their rule was you don't give the counterfeit bill back to the customer, period. Banks are required by law to retain such bills and hand them over to Federal Reserve. It does not matter if the customer demands the bill back after you tell them it's counterfeit. We had to tell them we were required to keep it, and that was the end of it.

I used to work in retail. Same story. Bill was determined to be fake, they'd tell the customer that and that was it. You don't get the bill back, ask all you want.

In both the above cases, the customer suffers no consequences of any sort. You're not in the "hot seat". You just lose the bill. Customer is not accused of deliberately trying to pass a fake bill. There's no evidence of that, unless customer admits guilt.

You don't need an explanation to talk yourself out of anything. Banks and retailers aren't going to ask you for one; they don't care for it. They just follow procedure, which is to keep the bill and tell you why. That's it! No one's going to be accusing you of anything.

At a mom-and-pop shop, I can't say what would happen but I wouldn't be surprised if they gave you back the bill. I can't see them caring much one way or the other.

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[deleted] wrote

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GoodOldWorkingClass wrote

If this happened to me, I would probably ask "Where on the bill shows it's a counterfeit?"

You can do hypotheticals all day long, but I'm telling you what policy is and what I've personally witnessed happen when I worked in retail and as a bank teller.

It don't matter what you say, and they don't care, and they don't owe you any further explanation. You don't get the bill back. You don't even get to see it or touch it. It gets put away and all they tell you is that they're required to keep it. Any further arguing could be dealt with as disruptive conduct I would assume (I never saw anybody argue and insist on getting the bill back).

That being said, I don't know why you'd want to get it back after it's been determined to be counterfeit, especially since you're in the clear. Like I said, no one's going to be pointing a finger at you.

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[deleted] wrote

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GoodOldWorkingClass wrote (edited )

It won't be handed back as change to other customers. I've just told you what they're required to do with it: send it to Federal Reserve or Treasury.

I personally received counterfeit bills as part of large commercial deposits at my bank's drive-through window. I was required to give them to my manager, who then came to the window and told the customer something like "we're sorry but this bill has been determined to be counterfeit". Customers looked surprised, but all they got was just another "polite" apology from managers. Not the bill back. Even I, the teller, didn't get to see it.

Same shit as a cashier too. I saw a cashier coworker refer a counterfeit bill to our manager. It took a few mins before the manager came out to the till and told the waiting customer she wasn't getting the bill back because .... and that we were truly sorry.

I also never witnessed a customer being given a real bill in exchange for the fake one. You just take the ding for the face value of it. I suppose it would help save you face at the moment to look a bit concerned about having lost "money" but excessive arguing doesn't help you. It just draws attention to yourself.

In no way shape or form does the store keep any record of when the bill was presented, or by who. All the talk in movies about the government tracing single bills is just fantasy. Fake bills get traced through bundles circulating in hot spots at a particular time. As for single bills received at random by businesses, the feds have no clue where or how they originated.

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