PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 43, October 22, 2006, Article 18

BANK REFUSES TO REDEEM A COUNTERFEIT $50

According to a Massachusetts newspaper account, "Wendy Bordeleau was
stunned to find out that a stroke of a pen had shown a $50 bill in
her husband's possession to be counterfeit.

But surprise has now turned into frustration, as the couple has
unsuccessfully wrangled over a potential reimbursement with the
Tewksbury bank they say gave them the fake bill."

"Although she declined to discuss the specifics of the case,
Sovereign Bank spokeswoman Deborah Pulver said the bank has led an
internal investigation and that Sovereign Bank officials "are
comfortable" with the decision to not reimburse the $50 bill.

"Although Sovereign Bank has "many processes" in place to catch
any counterfeit money -- from training its tellers to using currency
counters with the ability to detect fake bills -- Pulver acknowledged
that the measures are not foolproof.

"The only 100 percent certainty you can get is by calling the
Secret Service to check all the serial numbers," she said."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Huh?  The serial numbers?  If that statement is any indication of
the quality of the bank's counterfeit detection education program,
it's no wonder a fake could slip through the cracks.  I've heard
plenty of indicators for telling a real note from a fake, but a
list of serial numbers was never one of them.

I forwarded the story to Bob Leuver, former head of the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing.  He writes: "I suppose that the Secret Service
could check serial numbers to give them an idea whether a given note
was counterfeit, but CSI (Las Vegas, Miami or NYC) certainly would
not make this the thesis or plot for a program.

The Secret Service will be interested in the serial number as they
will use that in conjunction with their case file.  Counterfeiters
most often use the same serial number for a "series" of banknotes.
The Secret Service will use the serial number to establish quantity
and, hopefully, location of the "passing" of notes and the location
of the press or computer operation.

My opinion is that the bank was correct in refusing to reimburse for
the counterfeit $50.  The bank does not really know that they dispensed
it.  If they did know or were eager for a public relations kudo they
could have reimbursed the recipient.  The latter would be cheaper
than losing an account and the adverse publicity.

The Secret Service is as good as the forensic teams at CSI.  They
can quickly establish whether a US banknote is counterfeit.  Virtually
every Secret Service agent can do that, but those in the Counterfeit
Division are more adept.  Most agents can detect a counterfeit by sight.
If the bill looks too good, a microscope and some forensic tests might
be required."  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster