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Woman says She was Scammed in 7-11 Parking Lot

How to Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Cash

Have you ever seen a counterfeit bill? Would you know what to do if someone handed you one?

One Fort Myers woman says she was ripped off in convenience store parking lot.

“This guy comes to approach me before I get out of my car and he’s like ‘Ma’am could I ask you a favor?’ I’m like, ‘Well what is that?’ and he say’s ‘Can you trade me five dollars cash for my gift card?’,” said Melena Crabtree.

Melena says she didn’t want to give the man money at first but did so after her son asked if he could.

She says when she gave the guy five dollars, he said the gift card was actually worth ten.

“I went ahead and just handed him his gift card and that’s when he handed me the counterfeit five dollar bill,” Crabtree said.

So, how can you protect yourself?

Mike Ruth has been a ticket broker for 30 years and says there are three things to look for.

“If you hold it up to the light you have a strip, and then on the other side, the right side, you have a picture of the president,”said Ruth, “The third thing is the texture on the collar is different than the rest of the paper.”

If you’re not a cash expert you can buy the pen cashiers use to test bills. Staples and other stories sell them. They’re about 3-dollars each. When you mark a real bill the line will be gold. If it’s fake the line will be black.

Melena says the incident has already impacted her son.

“There’s people who usually stand at the corner of our Walmart in Lehigh. Usually he’ll give them change out of his pocket or a dollar but he hasn’t done it the last couple nights.”

Tough lesson to learn when you’re 11.