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How do I make sure the cash isn't counterfeit?


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I listed our used car on Craigslist yesterday. We received a call and met someone in a parking lot (our choice) this afternoon. The two men spoke very little English but managed to convey that they wanted the car. We settled on $4,000. They offered us cash on the spot--in $100 bills.

 

I forgot to get the title from our safety deposit box on Saturday, so we weren't able to give them the title. They gave us $2,000 and asked if they could take the car now and pay us the rest tomorrow when we had the title. We said that we'd wait until tomorrow. They took dh's driver's license number so they can find us again, I suppose. We asked to meet them at the bank where I could give them the title and then they could give us the cash. Then I would be able to give the cash to the teller to make sure it was fine.

 

They appear to be day laborers and told me they need to work tomorrow, so they cannot meet us at the bank. However, they can meet us at 8pm to pay us the remaining $2,000 and then get the title and car.

 

They do not have checks and did not seem to be able to get a cashier's check. (Again, picture trying to communicate with them with the language difficulty.)

 

I plan to take the $2,000 to the bank tomorrow and make sure it's not counterfeit. However, tomorrow evening I'd be giving them the car, title, and won't be able to check the remaining $2k.

 

Am I being paranoid? I think I'd be suspicious of *anybody* that gave me that much cash because I don't want to get to the bank and find out it's not any good. I know this is a slim possibility, but this is a lot of money...

 

FWIW, they were nice guys, and I'm happy that they're getting a dependable car from us.

 

How can I protect myself when dealing with this much cash?

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They should all have that little strip in them. You know, you just hold it up to the light and make sure the strip is in there.... that's my guess, anyways, I bet you could find something online :) Good luck!

 

 

Also, I don't find it odd that they would be able to pay in cash. It is likely that as day laborers, they can't exactly have a bank account with direct deposit and all that, so it might be easier to just deal in cash. I guess it's also possible that they aren't here legally, which means they CAN'T get a bank account. When we lived in GA there was a large population of illegal immigrants and they always dealt in cash as well. There may be several of them who put in together to get the car, so they can all share it, or something.

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Here is some more stuff to look for:

http://www.bep.gov/ncd100securityfeature.html

 

 

At the very least, make sure the serial numbers are different. Once upon a time I was handed multiple 20s and they were nearly perfect - except for the identical serial #s. Also interesting to note that the pens are not really reliable since people are bleaching money and reprinting it.

 

Be absolutely certain that you have in writing the date of sale of the car and to whom it was sold. Do not, under any circumstances, no matter how much begging, leave your plates on the car. This does not specifically apply to day laborers, but to everybody, everywhere, ever. btdt:glare:

 

 

eta: Carol has a great point, I am just always paranoid :D

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I would borrow or buy a marker to test the paper. If you know a manager of a large chain store, they may be willing to loan you one. The ink in the special markers stay light colored if the paper is legit. If it turns any other color the paper is a fraud. The ones I have seen leave a faint yellow line on good money.

 

It doesn't surprise me that they only have cash, it is the only way I would want someone to pay me. There are too many scams involving personal checks, certified checks, and travelers checks. Cash is harder to forge.

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I prefer to pay in cash too so that's not surprising and like a previous poster said, they might not have the ability to get a checking account if they aren't here legally. I'd probably talk to my bank about getting a pen to check the bills and then leave it at that.

 

I suppose you could also give them the car and mail them the title after you had a chance to check the bills at a bank. The last time we bought a car on Craigslist the guy didn't want cash because it was a large amount (greater than $10k) so we wrote him a check out of our savings account and he gave us the vehicle and a bill of sale. Once the check cleared in a week or so he sent us the title.

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Has no else used Elemental Science's chemistry program? :lol: This is one of the experiments.

 

"Real money is printed on special paper that has no starch, a long stringy molecule of many sugars joined together that is found in certain plants. (Normal paper is made from starch-containing plants.) "

 

You can test w/iodine - if it turns the bill blue, it is a fake, because the starch in paper reacts with iodine.

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Has no else used Elemental Science's chemistry program? :lol: This is one of the experiments.

 

"Real money is printed on special paper that has no starch, a long stringy molecule of many sugars joined together that is found in certain plants. (Normal paper is made from starch-containing plants.) "

 

You can test w/iodine - if it turns the bill blue, it is a fake, because the starch in paper reacts with iodine.

 

 

You could even test all clandestine-like, "Oops! Silly me dropped this iodine all over the money!" :lol:

 

(still wouldn't tell you if it had been bleached though :( )

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I listed our used car on Craigslist yesterday. We received a call and met someone in a parking lot (our choice) this afternoon. The two men spoke very little English but managed to convey that they wanted the car. We settled on $4,000. They offered us cash on the spot--in $100 bills.

 

I forgot to get the title from our safety deposit box on Saturday, so we weren't able to give them the title. They gave us $2,000 and asked if they could take the car now and pay us the rest tomorrow when we had the title. We said that we'd wait until tomorrow. They took dh's driver's license number so they can find us again, I suppose. We asked to meet them at the bank where I could give them the title and then they could give us the cash. Then I would be able to give the cash to the teller to make sure it was fine.

 

They appear to be day laborers and told me they need to work tomorrow, so they cannot meet us at the bank. However, they can meet us at 8pm to pay us the remaining $2,000 and then get the title and car.

 

They do not have checks and did not seem to be able to get a cashier's check. (Again, picture trying to communicate with them with the language difficulty.)

 

I plan to take the $2,000 to the bank tomorrow and make sure it's not counterfeit. However, tomorrow evening I'd be giving them the car, title, and won't be able to check the remaining $2k.

 

Am I being paranoid? I think I'd be suspicious of *anybody* that gave me that much cash because I don't want to get to the bank and find out it's not any good. I know this is a slim possibility, but this is a lot of money...

 

FWIW, they were nice guys, and I'm happy that they're getting a dependable car from us.

 

How can I protect myself when dealing with this much cash?

NO! You are NOT being paranoid. Don't take the cash directly from them. Not that much cash. Require them to meet you at a bank, pay the bank the money and then have the bank issue you a cashier's check. The bank can determine if the money is good on the spot and take the risk.

 

Why did you give them your husband's driver's license number??? They had no cause to get personal information and that can indeed be used for identity theft.

 

I'm sure glad you didn't hand over the car!

 

And I buy cars directly from CL myself including twice this past year. Verify everything!

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Also when you go to the bank with the cash you have, if you have not yet checked the bills yourself with a marker, do not go to the teller window all ready to make the deposit - ask for their assistance in checking the bills first. You do not want to put yourself in a position to get into trouble for attempting to make a deposit counterfeit bills.

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I'm almost positive it was because they gave us $2k, and he wanted to be able to track us down in case we were dishonest.

 

but now he can get your address. There may be nothing wrong at all, but I just don't understand why you took the 2k and gave the drivers license number. I would have never done that.

 

I'm sure those pens don't cost a lot of money. I'd definitely get one so that you can make sure all the bills are real.

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