CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Secret Service is looking into a complaint that counterfeit money was recently circulated at a convenience store in Chesterfield County. One customer who says she got one of those phony bills, called 12 on Your Side for help.
This is really a cautionary tale. Know your money, look at it and compare it to other bills before you leave the store. The Secret Service is offering that advice.
Once you leave, and phony money is discovered -- the customer will likely take the loss, not the store.
"They treated me as though I was actually the person out here printing up money," said Veronica Brent.
What the counterfeiter did is equivalent to someone snatching Veronica Brent's wallet and stealing $50, in plain sight.
"When I went back to try to explain to the manager what happened the night before, to try to get my money back, they called the police on me," she said.
Veronica says she cashed a $200 check at "Style's Bi-Rite," on Belmont Road August 21. Something she'd done before. While making a purchase at a second store, the clerk told her the money was counterfeit.
"I was humiliated. And a little bit mad," Veronica said.
Angry, because Veronica was threatened with arrest, when she returned a second time to Style's Birite, attempting to get bad money that was passed to her replaced with a legitimate bill.
"If they would just give me my money back and say I apologize. You're a valuable customer," she said.
That won't happen. Call it a sign of the times, when crooks pass phony bills and cut into businesses bottom-line, somebody gets burned.
"She took the money out of a drawer, when she cashed my check and gave me the money. So, I don't know where they got it from or what happened in between, but I know that it came from there," said Veronica.
The store that detected the fake money used a counterfeit money marker. Counterfeit money turns black. A lighter, yellowish color indicates the money is real. The Secret Service says, the markers are good, but not fool proof.
If the paper is genuine, the bill will show real. Even if a $5 bill was washed and made into a $100. The manager at Styles Bi-Rite on Belmont Road said he would have someone contact us, with an official response. That has not happened.
Meantime, to find out more about counterfeit bills, we've provided a link to the Secret Service website.(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.