Local News

Fast-food restaurant is battling counterfeit money

Posted October 19, 2011

— Counterfeit money has prompted at least one Triangle-area fast-food chain to accept only small bills from customers.

Jason Bryan, who manages Cook Out on Capital Boulevard, said the restaurant's district office put the policy in place three weeks ago after several restaurants reported receiving fake money.

"A couple of us have been hit with these fake bills, and we're just no longer taking anything larger than a $20," Bryan said Wednesday.

Most people cannot tell if a bill is counterfeit. Banks use a special light to examine bills, but small businesses generally don't have that technology.

Instead, they train their employees to use special pens, in which a mark on a bill indicates whether it is real.

But Bryan says it can be time-consuming.

"It's costly," he said "Somebody gets away. They come through with a tray for like $5 or $10, and they (pay with a counterfeit $100 and) make like a $90 profit."

The U.S. Secret Service estimates that less than 1 percent of bills circulating in the U.S. are fake.

Money Fast-food restaurant battles counterfeit money

It says that, as technology gets better, it also gets more difficult to spot counterfeit bills.

"Some of them have gotten very, very good, where they take actual money, bleached all the ink off it and then reprinted it as a $100 bill," Bryan said.


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  • yournot Oct 20, 2011

    Just a heads up to the community, counterfeit detector pens do NOT work. They can be defeated with simple newspaper. The UV light test also is not accurate, as that can be defeated with xerox paper. These are well known facts. Please do your research before buying into the fear and security "theater".

  • bmg379 Oct 20, 2011

    cook out on capital blvd should be battling the criminals who hang out in their parking lot on the weekends

  • Nancy Oct 20, 2011

    Bottom line is a business that is being hit by such theft takes a financial hit. It's a crime, it's theft.

    Anyone who has ever run a business knows that these kinds of thefts erase profit quickly.

  • overthink Oct 20, 2011

    The problem is that most people just look to see if *a* strip is there, not if it actually says the value on the bill. But mix this with bad checks, and you see why more and more businesses are switching to debit/credit only. But whoever said we need to go back about 50 years, I agree. The system is too lenient on criminals, most only stay in just long enough to learn new tricks from cellmates, and then they're back on the streets. Then again, the Carolinas are way behind on everything from traffic fines (NC is still one of the lowest for traffic citation fines as well as business operation citation fines, lowest incarceration sentencing lengths, etc. When NC gets on board with the rest of the nation, things will change. Until then, it continues to go downhill. They come here knowing they won't pay a huge fine and be out of jail before the next sunday dinner with family.

  • Mrs.DarylDixon Oct 20, 2011

    "they train their employees to use special pens" I wonder if they have videos to watch as well as extensive on the job training for using these "special pens?"
    no theres instructions on the pens. usually if it marks a light yellow or clear color its good and if its a dark brown or black its fake, butit can vary, and it doesnt protect against people who bleack a $1 bill and print a $100 on it, bc its still money paper.

  • Dirty_Water Oct 20, 2011

    If you use a fake Benjamin and get $10 worth of food and $90 in chage, didn't you make a $100 profit instead of $90? Assuming, of course, it doesn't cost $10 to make the fake c-note.

  • robbyh Oct 20, 2011

    vote obama 2012
    Thats why they are having to print counterfeit money. No jobs, Oh but he must have really helped you out. Did you get your watch!!

  • livinglife Oct 20, 2011

    "they train their employees to use special pens" I wonder if they have videos to watch as well as extensive on the job training for using these "special pens?"

  • tux Oct 20, 2011

    "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private" is on all paper currency, so isn't this rule technically illegal?

  • vraptor Oct 19, 2011

    Goto Taco Bell and use a large bill. They don't use a pen to test large bills. They have a bill reader that tells them if it is fake. $20+ bill. It gets checked. If it is fake. They call the police. So do what they do!!!