Monday, June 22, 2009

Target Gave Me a Counterfeit Twenty

Counterfeit Twenty

This has never happened to me before. Last Friday I went to Target to get a few things. At the snack bar, I bought a slushie for Hank and asked for $40 cash back. They gave me two twenties. One of them I spent somewhere, and then on Saturday night I tried to pay for a movie ticket with this one. The ticket guy slid it right back to me and said, "It's fake." I was like, "What?" Our friend Rick was there, and he had to translate for me: "He said it's fake." I was all, "HUH?" Then when we compared this bill to another one Rick had, you could definitely see a difference in the print quality. The lines and printing just weren't as crisp. It was obvious that it wasn't printed from a plate, but was a photographic reproduction. Look at the line above where it says "Dollars."


Also, and it's hard to tell in a photograph, but the "20" in the lower right corner--that's embossed and slightly metallic on a real bill--was dull and flat on this bill. None of the ink felt raised like it should, which would have been the first giveaway to a bank teller. Not so much the cashier at Target, I guess. This bill didn't have the strip you can see if you hold a twenty up to the light, either.

Those tiny 20's all over the back were too visible on this bill, compared to how they look almost watermarked on a real bill. The paper felt fine though. Weird. Also weird was how uninterested in this fraud the guy selling movie tickets was. It must happen every hour, or something. He was, like, "Next!"

After I got over the novelty of the situation, I got annoyed, because Target had debited my checking account $40 and given me only twenty. So yesterday I went to the customer service desk there, brandishing the fake twenty and my receipt from when I got the slushie and cash back. (It pays to have a bottomless pit of a purse that you just thrust every scrap of paper into.) They summoned their security guy (who looked about 19, or am I just really old?). Dude said that someone had paid with a fake twenty at the Starbucks in the store, recently, and that this had happened a few times. He took the bill to go "log it," he said, and they gave me a crisp new twenty, which I carefully inspected before leaving. Thanks, Target, for being so stand-up. After I got my good twenty, I wanted to stay and chat about it all, but they seemed kind of embarrassed, so I left.

Ever happen to y'all?

20 comments:

Jane said...

Well, good for Target for correcting the problem!

Lindy said...

I've never had this happen to me but I'm glad Target did the right thing.

And to think, I was making fun of the grocery store clerk who was checking my ONES with the counterfeit pen. :)

Michele said...

Wow, I've never had that happen to me before. I would have wanted some type of discussion about the whole thing also. At least Target didn't quibble.

Michele Renee said...

Yikes I guess we all need to keep one of those pens in our bottomless purses. Never happened to me but I will tell my kids and they will be fascinated. They toured the Denver Mint recently and are all into looking at money now. Last night one of them showed me the new penny he heard about with a new scene on the back. It is copper but feels different now.

Ginny Marie said...

Target has always been good to me. I've taken back lots of stuff, like a universal remote that didn't work for us, and they've always taken it back and refunded my money with no problem!

Keely said...

Used to happen to me all the time when I served & bartended. Most of the time we got a 'heads up' that counterfeits were going around, so we usually caught it. I got stuck with a fake $50 once though. I had to take the loss, which kind of sucked.

Amy said...

Wow--I have never had that happen! I would've wanted to debrief with the Target people, too. Too bad they weren't into it. :)

The only thing I know about counterfeiting is what I read in that Lee Child novel--that the hardest thing to fake is the paper. So that's my contribution.

Cassie said...

Crap. I guess I have to stop paying for my Target Starbucks with fake twenties now.

Thanks a lot, Becky.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

No, hasn't happened to me yet. But having my bills checked whenever I hand them over to pay for something in cash is happening all the time . . . more and more often. I used to feel a bit insulted (what? you think I'm the mafia?) but now I see why they're doing that.

Glad Target did the right thing! You'd think a store that big would have better fraud protection systems in place. Sheesh.

Casey said...

Woah, that's something that would have happened on a crime show. Your life is so much more exciting than mine.

bernthis said...

Never that is horrible but good for TArget. Seriously, I am so loyal to places that give good customer service like that.

poz said...

Never been caught with counterfeit bills myself.

But hey! I didn't know you kept a blog until I saw the link from Ricko's blog. And as luck would have it, I saw your hubby and his partner just today at Chez Cryptique.

(I had a chuckle, though, when I read an earlier post of yours: in the SFBay area, referring to a guy's "partner" doesn't often mean "business partner".)

The Dental Maven said...

I guess there's one plus to never having money in my wallet. I typically use my check card for everything.

Jenni said...

Never happened to me, but I know if it did my husband would want to keep the fake. For posterity or something

Sara said...

(Jenni, My husband would totally keep it, too!)

And Becky, I was also thinking that it was funny that you looked like the type of gal to pass a fake twenty! But I guess the Counterfeit Nazi at the movie theater is probably no respecter of persons.

Such intrigue you have going on down there! And it came from your beloved Target to boot. Glad they made it right. Pretty sure they know not to poop where they eat. hee! :)

A Day That is Dessert said...

Not that I know of...but I wouldn't know a fake if I saw one. Glad to hear Target handled it so well.

bsouth said...

It's a long story but basically my ex once gave me a load of counterfeit notes to pay into the bank for him - without telling me (I would have refused). The bank didn't spot them. I also finished that relationship pretty quickly after that!

Bex said...

target won't let you down!

that is so weird. what a random event.

just read cassie's comment! and snorted ice through my nose - thanks cassie, i needed that.

alicesworld said...

I'm glad they fixed it. How freaky. Maybe that's why I never use cash. However, yesterday my credit card declined. Vision of someone having hacked into my network and stolen my identity flashed through my mind for 20 minutes. I got a hold of Visa and they explained my new credit card was sent to me (which I hadignored thinking it was another company wanting my business, blah blah blah). I hate financial freakouts!

bruce said...

you're lucky they gave you the money back.

i just got passed a bad twenty by MY BANK and when i went to spend it and was told it was fake, i took it back to the bank and they have informed me that I AM OUT THE MONEY because i can't prove i got it at the bank!