I guess there will always be another scam out there. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – if people spent as much time doing the right thing and being a positive force instead of thinking of ways to bilk the innocent people – what they could accomplish!
A customer of ours has garage sales every now and then. They usually benefit the church she attends. This time, it was to help her son in college and her church’s youth group when they go on a camping trip next month.
A customer gave her – and a friend who had joined her – three counterfeit $50 bills. Yes. At her garage sale.
What can you do to prevent this? Be aware of the following:
•They come towards the end of the sale (they know you’ll have plenty of change) . •They give you 20s,50s or 100s. Counterfeiters seldom make 1s,5s or 10s in funny money.
If you think the bill looks or feels funny, there are special pens you can buy that turn a different color when swiped on the bill.
There are also strips embedded in them as well as a watermark of a face when you hold it up to the light.
Also, if more than one is trying to be passed, the serial numbers should be different.
If your customer gets antsy when you inspect their money and take off, snap a photo of them and the vehicle they are in and report it to the authorities. Most likely, you are not the only garage sale vendor or quite possibly business that has been hit.
Also, be careful when they buy a large item and say they will be back to get it.
I remember selling a washing machine and they asked to come and get it later. They did … and they also took the dryer.
A friend of mine recently had her dolly/handtruck taken when a customer returned later and used it to load a $5 gas grill.
The way I see it, it’s a sad state when you have to worry about thieves and counterfeit money at a garage sale … but nothing surprises me anymore.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.-