Checking for Counterfeit Fives

Luca set her hot chocolate on the counter. I did the same with my gum. I pulled out my wallet, found a crisp new $5 bill and handed it to the clerk. Instead of making change he looked at it for a few seconds over an open till. 

He reminded me of the forensic detectives on CSI. Did he think I’d given him a counterfeit fiver or was he looking for trace evidence?


After staring at it for a few seconds he took a couple steps backward into better light. Then he held the bill at arms length towards the light rocking it from side to side.

The lady in back of me whispered, “Do they see a lot of fake fives?”

Maybe not but the clerk still wasn’t satisfied. He turned the bill over and inspected it for a few seconds. At this point I wondered if I was going to leave the store with my daughter’s hot chocolate and my Trident “Splash” Strawberry Lime gum. You know that kind that squirts when you bite it? Oh yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

A few more customers joined the line and, when I turned around, they all stared at me. I wanted to say, “I’m not a CRIMINAL!!”

If I were going to print up a sheet full of counterfeit bills, I wouldn’t risk prison time pumping out Lincolns.

No way. I wouldn’t waste ink on anything less than a Jackson.

Just as I was about to say, “Is there a problem?” the clerk gently placed the five dollar bill in the till and counted my change back to me.

Next time it’s Visa all the way.

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3 thoughts on “Checking for Counterfeit Fives

  1. I saw this post and thought it may be about your call to Trident to find out the secrets of their “Splash” lime gum. Then, I realized it was about McCain supporting cashier named Joe. It made me think about those cashiers who ask to see my ID after a $1.25 AMEX transaction. Great post! Kent


  2. Can you imagine how many fake bills actually through? It is astonishing. The more people use it, and businesses don’t check, the more chances for you and me to get stuck with these bills and then look like criminals.


    1. @Amanda
      Really? There are a lot of fakes bills out there? It seems strange to check five dollar bills so carefully. The message it sends is, “I don’t trust you”.


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