Fake $100 bill used at Lincoln garage sale

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - One Lincoln family is putting out an alert after they received a fake $100 bill during a weekend garage sale.

They hope others can learn from their mistake and that people who are hosting similar sales are on alert.

Christine Goodwin said the sale was to hopefully raise money to replace old appliances around her home. Cash is short in her family’s single-income home she shares with her husband and almost 2-year-old son.

Now, they’re out $40 and the two items she was swindled out of as well.

The fake $100 bill looks and feel is pretty authentic until you take a much closer look. Small wording printed on it says it’s not actual currency.

Goodwin said the man who paid her with it hung around the garage sale for some time, perusing various items.

“He came up to me and said ‘Would you take $10 for this frame and $50 for the TV?’” Goodwin said. “So he owed $60 and then we did the purchase. He handed me the $100 bill and we gave him $40 back.”

Her husband Richard offered to help carry the items, but he declined. Goodwin said the man parked down the street a ways and by the time they realized what had happened and that the bill was fake, he was already gone.

“Pretty upset because years back we did a garage sale as well and a man ended up taking the whole money box that took off with over $300 worth of cash,” Goodwin said.

The Better Business Bureau said scammers in this type of scenario will often target places like garage sales because the people running them are not trained to recognize the signs of a counterfeit bill.

“All authentic banknotes have raised printing which is really difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce,” said Josh Planos with the BBB. “So you can detect it by running your fingernail carefully over the bill and should feel some sort of vibration.”

Planos said the best step for people who might be wary of a bill is to just ask for another form of payment or simply refuse the sale.

“The best thing you can do is speak up if you have any sort of worries if a counterfeit bill is being used in a transaction,” Planos said.

10/11 Now checked the Lincoln Police Department’s crime log for the past week. There have been four police reports related to counterfeit money.

Goodwin said they haven’t contacted law enforcement because similar cases she researched in the area showed she likely didn’t have enough evidence, like a license plate number, to make a strong case.

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