Counterfeit pens??

Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
253
#1
Has anyone else gotten them?? We had some counterfeit issues last year and I said we need those pens and the ETLs would always say they aren't brand. Funny how it takes a year for good old spot to catch on LOL:facepalm:
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
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1,826
#3
We were a test store and we have had them for about a year now. We use them on $20s and up. After the test we are still using them.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
17,896
#4
The latest in counterfeiting wouldn't make them very useful. Low $ bills are put through an acid wash then reprinted with a higher denom. It's the same type of paper so the pen doesn't pick it up. If a cashier glances at it quickly, they'll see a watermark & the dollar thread. Unless you look closely (where the thread lands in the serial # & confirm the watermark face), it's hard to catch quickly.
 

Parker51

Senior Team Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
66
#6
The latest in counterfeiting wouldn't make them very useful. Low $ bills are put through an acid wash then reprinted with a higher denom. It's the same type of paper so the pen doesn't pick it up. If a cashier glances at it quickly, they'll see a watermark & the dollar thread. Unless you look closely (where the thread lands in the serial # & confirm the watermark face), it's hard to catch quickly.

You can also check the hologram, which changes from green to black as you tilt it back and forth, for the denomination number on the lower right of larger bills.

This is a good candidate for a sticky/FAQ, as it seems to come up often. Such pens are not an effective tool for the reasons stated by redeye58 above. The U.S. Secret Service estimates that only about 1 in 10,000 bills in circulation are counterfeit (slightly higher for large denominations like $100's, but not by much). So, the odds are much higher that you, not being a Secret Service agent or otherwise trained to spot counterfeits, will make a false-positive ID of a bill, offending and inconveniencing a guest, versus a false-negative (failing to identify a bad bill). Best practices appear to be that counterfeit pens are obsolete, and unless a bill presented is a really obvious forgery (done with crayons or on a photocopier, and then have the GSTL/GSA look at it), Spot will eat the loss.
 
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redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
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17,896
#7
Also remember that all bills will be deposited & fakes will be picked up by the bank. If they notice an increase in counterfeits, they'll notify Secret Service & they in turn will contact your store's AP. Takes a while but it does happen.
 
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Jul 1, 2011
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#12
Also remember that all bills will be deposited & fakes will be picked up by the bank. If they notice an increase in counterfeits, they'll notify Secret Service & they in turn will contact your store's AP. Takes a while but it does happen.
Not necessarily....my local bank didn't. People were getting $$ at the ATM at the bank, then going next door to the gas station to get gas, where THEY were catching the fakes. Slightly embarrassing for the bank to get caught "not catching" counterfeits :facepalm:
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
17,896
#13
Not necessarily....my local bank didn't. People were getting $$ at the ATM at the bank, then going next door to the gas station to get gas, where THEY were catching the fakes. Slightly embarrassing for the bank to get caught "not catching" counterfeits :facepalm:
Very odd. Is it a branch of a major bank? They're supposed to have optical counters that can discern counterfeits unless someone is REALLY a pro. If THEY'RE not catching it, they could be in trouble further up the chain.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
244
#14
I think the main purpose of the pens isn't to catch fakes once they are in the store, but to keep counterfeiters from even trying to use Target as a place to swap their fakes for real bills at all. My store was being hit pretty hard by counterfeiters for quite awhile. AP told me that there was (maybe still is) a pretty sophisticated counterfeit ring in our area. They would go to one Target, buy a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise, pay with fake cash and then take the items to another Target and return the stuff, getting real cash in return. Until we introduced the pens almost a year ago, we were receiving fake money about once a week on average (that we were aware of--I'm sure some of it slipped past us). Now that we have the pens, its only happened once that I've heard about.
 
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