Remember when Cash was King? Well, sorry to say... things have changed. Have you noticed how common it is for grocery store and other cashiers to check your cash by holding the bills up to the light, and/or swiping them with those yellow highlighters? They don't do it to annoy or insult you, they don't do it just for fun. They do it because they are motivated by the everyday reality of fake currency. It's worth a cashier's time so that their drawer isn't "short" at the end of their shift.
- it cost money
- it hurt
- it took time
Well, no point in keeping this "valuable" education all to myself. So here's a School of Hard Knocks lesson for the benefit of anyone who can use it.
The police told me that, to file a police report, I'd have to hand over all the money, even the real stuff, because it is useful evidence. The choice was mine: file a report, lose the little bit of real dough I had left, MAYBE have to show up in court to testify IF they ever find the guy (it was inferred to me that, among other types of local crime, this is not a high priority), MAYBE the case drags on for years and MAYBE the case is unsuccessful. Was it worth it my time and money to try to nail this guy? Gee whiz, don't we think that the scammers have figured all this out and know it's unlikely they'll be caught?
- They will allow you to closely inspect their cash
- They agree you will call 911 if you find ANY fake cash in their payment
- They agree you will keep the ENTIRE payment until the cops arrive to sort things out.
- It the cash checks out OK, they will hand you their ID and let you write down all the info.
- They will let you photograph them.
- They will print THEIR name, address and phone number (must match ID) on the Bill of Sale.
- They will put THEIR signature (not ANYONE ELSE's) on both the title AND a Bill of Sale