But something went wrong.
The counting machine rejected a beat-up
The teller plucked the bill out and inspected it.
But, instead, she'd brought the money to
And then there was this hold up. The troublesome
But, it was wrong. It was fake -- counterfeit, even with a detection pen mark and signs of use.
"My first thought was kind of shock," said
Then his thoughts turned to "What's next?" And after a visit to the bank he claims issued a fake
BB&T officials said there wasn't much they could do, that they couldn't just reimburse the couple. And even if they could, it was going to take some time.
So the Risingers were stuck, out
They're not alone.
Last month, police in
Earlier this month, the
"We are seeing a lot of counterfeit. It always picks up after Christmas," she said.
Holiday shopping provides the perfect opportunity to slip fake bills into circulation, as overwhelmed cashiers work to move shoppers through stores quickly.
The U.S. Secret Service, which was created in 1865 to limit counterfeit cash in circulation, estimates that less than .01 percent of the
Often, it's retailers who take a hit when cashiers accept fake bills, said Job.
But sometimes fakes do slip into banks. And sometimes fakes find their way back into the hands of customers.
Job compared it to a costly game of musical chairs. "We always say it's the last man standing," she said. And whomever's holding the fake money when the music dies is the loser.
There's nothing the government can do for them at that point.
The Secret Service does not reimburse victims of counterfeiting. Job said it's a precautionary protocol to prevent counterfeiters themselves from making money and cashing it in for the real thing.
She suggests people in the Risingers' position approach the bank instead.
That's what the Risingers did. They lobbied BB&T -- where they say the fake
BB&T officials say they have safeguards in place to prevent the distribution of fake bills. And they, like the government, are cautious about handing out money to folks who claim to be victims of counterfeiting.
One of the first questions a BB&T representative asked
"We're a low-income family," Josh said. "It's a very slim chance that she had a fake
At this point, he doubts the couple will ever get the money back.
He accepts it, but laments having to pay the
The couple hopes at least some banks will start taking greater precautions to prevent it happening to others.
"I want banks to understand that people are aware that this happens, and it's not OK," Josh said. "What are they going to do to make sure this doesn't happen?"
Job considers it a hard lesson learned, one that could have snagged anybody.
According to her and a BB&T spokesman, the only way for consumers to fully protect themselves at the bank is to always check withdrawals before leaving the building.
"Especially if you're getting out a decent amount," said Job. "If you catch it right there, normally they'll switch it out for you."
If you catch it later, you may just be
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