Karen Seigle received a $50 bill from a customer during a garage sale last week at her Sun City home and had a surprise in store for her when she attempted to use it at a local business.
It was counterfeit.
“I never thought for one second that something like this would happen to me, but you never know because anything really could happen,” she said.
The Sun Citian has never received a counterfeit bill before, but other residents and local businesses have been given the illegal currency.
Sun City Sheriff’s Posse member Marge Paulding said there were several reports last year of counterfeit bills.
“We got them off and on, every so often,” said Paulding, a former Posse commander. “It’s important we try to be aware and be on our toes for stuff like this.”
Paulding said people should know how to spot counterfeit money, which includes the marker test and checking the serial numbers.
And even then, Paulding said those methods might not be enough.
Seigle said her sister received the bogus bill at the garage sale from an unidentified man who bought a few books and an iron.
“He seemed like a nice young man and said he had fallen upon some hard times and was looking for a few items for his family,” she said.
After the garage sale, Seigle took the money to a business and the workers had an inkling that it might be fake. They eventually placed it under an ultraviolet light and discovered it to be a $5 bill.
“They told me it was one of the best counterfeit bills that they had ever seen,” she said.
In the end, Seigle said this incident taught her a lesson.
“I will never take bills that are $50 or larger,” she said. “I’m just stunned by the whole thing, but we should all be on the lookout for these types of things.”